UPDATE #2: New videos have surfaced that show Kenneka Jenkins at the hotel party she was attending hours before her death. The first one is a brief nine-second clip that shows Jenkins sitting on a bed along with the woman who was wearing sunglasses in the first viral video related to the incident, which was apparently taken on September 9, at 2:24 a.m. The second one is a five-minute video that shows Jenkins at various parts throughout the party, although there’s no time associated with the clip.
UPDATE: Chicago police officers are now looking into a viral Facebook video that apparently shows Kenneka Jenkins in a hotel room prior to her death after disappearing from a party. The video shows a woman wearing sunglasses and talking into a camera, with the other side of the room reflected in the sunglasses. The reflection apparently shows Jenkins sitting on a bed with other people around her.
Read the original story below.
Chicago teenager Kenneka Jenkins was found dead inside a walk-in freezer at a Rosemont hotel.
In a report from the Chicago Tribune, Jenkins was found after an hours-long search and was pronounced dead at 12:48 a.m. Sunday, with the police telling the teen’s mother, Tereasa Martin, that she apparently let herself into the freezer while intoxicated and died inside. According to Becky Schlikerman, spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office, an autopsy has been performed but the cause and manner of Jenkins’ death are still unknown.
“(I’m) horrified,” Martin said to reporters outside the hotel Sunday morning. “It’s something that no one could ever imagine. It’s unbelievable.”
The death took place after Jenkins left her house late Friday to attend a party at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont. Witnesses reportedly told police they saw Jenkins at a party on the ninth floor of the hotel. Then, around 4 a.m., Martin received a call from Jenkins’ friends telling her that they had lost track of the teen and could not find her. The friends also said that they were in the car Jenkins had used to get to the party and they had her phone.
Then, as the Tribune reports:
Martin said she headed to the hotel around 5 a.m. Saturday to try to find her daughter. Hotel staff told her they needed a missing persons report from police before they could start reviewing surveillance video of the premises.
Martin said she then called the Rosemont Police Department and was told to wait a few hours before filing the report to see if Jenkins turned up.
Jenkins’ older sister, Leonore Harris, filed a missing persons report with Rosemont police later that morning, Mack said. Authorities notified the hotel about the missing teen around 1:15 p.m. Saturday. The 11-hour search for Jenkins included all public areas and the ninth floor, where she was last seen by witnesses, Mack said.
“The hotel staff and management (were) actively canvassing the area at that time,” Mack said.
Martin said around 3 or 4 p.m. Saturday, police viewed some of the hotel video footage and said they did not see Jenkins pictured.
The family left and came back a third time around 6 p.m. Saturday, Martin said, at which point relatives started knocking on room doors to see if any guests knew anything. The hotel called the police to complain about the knocking, Martin said. One of those responding officers listened to the family’s plight and agreed to view the video footage again, Martin said.
Around 10 p.m. Saturday, police told Jenkins’ relatives they had spotted her on video from about 3:20 a.m. that day, “staggering” drunk near the front desk, according to Martin.
Martin said the family members stayed at the hotel until after 1 a.m. Sunday, when police informed them they had discovered Jenkins’ body in the walk-in freezer.
It is unknown who discovered Jenkins’ body. Still, Martin is skeptical of the Jenkins’ friends, saying that their stories of the incident “changed over and over,” as well as police accounts stating Jenkins got into the freezer on her own.
“Those were double steel doors, she didn’t just pop them open,” Martin said.
A hashtag for Kenneka Jenkins has been circulating throughout social media. Initially, one user had offered comments on the incident, speculating that it was Jenkins’ friends who were responsible for her murder and referencing a video one of her friends posted on Facebook that seems to have been taken during the party Jenkins was at. However, that user’s thread has since been deleted (although screenshots can be found below) and the video from Jenkins’ friend has been deleted (although a shorter video has been shared on social media).
— Lerato 💕 (@LeratoMannya) September 11, 2017
— ʙᴀʀʙᴢ™️🎀💲 (@iiamyunnii) September 11, 2017
We will update as more information becomes available.