A Chicago family is mourning the loss of their loved one Kenneka Jenkins after the 19-year-old teen was found dead in the walk-in freezer at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont. According to police, Jenkins drunkenly wandered into the freezer. She was celebrating a new job.
The Chicago Tribune reports, Jenkins left home at 11:30 pm to attend a party on the ninth floor at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Friends claim they last saw her in the wee hours of the morning. Jenkin’s friends called her mother Tereasa Martin around 4:30 am to inform her they couldn’t find her at the party.
According to reports, Martin immediately went to hotel security and asked if they could check the surveillance footage. Security referred Martin to the police, who insisted she wait because Jenkin’s could have been out with friends.
Martin filed a police report the next day leading to an extensive search, which ended when Jenkin’s body was found in the walk-in freezer around 12:24 pm. She was pronounced dead on the scene.
Police reportedly told Martin, Jenkins was too drunk to hold herself up.
“She was so drunk–that was his exact words–she was so drunk she couldn’t hold herself up. She was holding on to the wall,” Martin said. “I believe someone in this hotel killed my child,” she added.
“The freezer door is heavy. So there’s no way. If they’re saying she’s drunk, she don’t have no strength. If she had enough strength to open that freezer door, she would have had enough strength to walk straight,” Harris said.
The hotel issued this statement,
We are saddened by this news, and our thoughts are with the young woman and her family during this difficult time. The hotel staff will continue to cooperate fully with local authorities. All further questions should be directed to the Rosemont Police Department.
The Cook County Medical Examiner examined the body and an autopsy has been scheduled. The cause of death has yet to be determined.