A Chicago mother is looking for answers after her 19-year-old daughter was found dead in a hotel’s walk-in freezer over the weekend.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office says Kenneka Jenkins was pronounced dead at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont on Sunday. The cause of death is not yet confirmed, but an autopsy has been completed.
Jenkins was last seen by friends in the early hours of Saturday morning after attending a party on the ninth floor of the suburban hotel. According to police, the teen wandered into the freezer while intoxicated after getting separated from her group.
Her mother, Tereasa Martin, told the Chicago Tribune she was having a hard time understanding what happened after receiving various accounts from police and her daughter’s friends.
She’s also skeptical of whether or not her allegedly-inebriated daughter would have been able to forcefully open the heavy freezer doors to let herself in.
Martin told the outlet:
“(I’m) horrified. It’s something that no one could ever imagine. It’s unbelievable … Those were double steel doors, she didn’t just pop them open.”
The worried mother recalled heading to the hotel around 5 a.m. on Saturday morning after receiving a call from Jenkins’ friends, who said they couldn’t find Kenneka but had her phone and keys. Upon arrival, Martin was told by hotel staff that she needed a warrant from police before they could review surveillance video.
After being told by authorities to wait a few hours in case Kenneka showed up, a missing persons report was filed by Jenkins’ older sister, Leonore Harris.
Later that day, police searched the hotel but didn’t find any leads until around 10 p.m. when they say they spotted Jenkins on security footage “staggering” drunk near the front desk. Hours later, they found the teen’s body in the freezer.
Ultimately, Martin is frustrated with the hotel and police’s lack of urgency to look into her pleas to find her missing daughter:
“If they had taken me seriously and checked right away, they could have found my daughter much sooner and she might have been alive.”
Such a sad story. We’ll keep you posted as more details come to light.
[Image via Facebook.]