Hellobeautiful Featured Video
Teen from Chicago found dead in walk-in freezer at hotel

Source: Chicago Tribune / Getty

Kenneka Jenkins has finally been laid to rest.

On Saturday (Sep. 30) more than 1,000 people — many who never knew Jenkins — turned out for the Chicago teen’s wake and funeral at the House of Hope Church. According to the Chicago Sun Times, these guests wanted to show their respect for Jenkin’s life and her grieving mother Teresa Martin, who has been very critical of the police’s investigation into the tragic death of her daughter.

Joseph Alvarez, who has known Jenkins since she was an 8th grader, said Saturday’s service was extremely emotional.

“I’ve known her for a while, since her mom would have events in Douglas Park to gather the kids together without violence,” Alvarez, 23, told the Sun Times.

“[Martin] knows I love her, I tell her all the time to stay strong and to continue to show that passion and power.”

The Chicago Tribune noted that inside the South Side “stadium-sized” church, friends, relatives and strangers “slowly strode past the open casket book-ended by modest bouquets, one that simply spelled ‘NEKA’ in purple flowers.” In addition, many of the mourners wore purple, Jenkins’ favorite color, as a show of love, while others wore shirts with pictures of her along with the message “Justice for Kenneka.”

Friends and family did not speak during the funeral; instead Pastors James Meeks and Andre Williams eulogized the teen.

“Some of us are best friends because of Kenneka,” Williams said. “She was sent her to serve a purpose — which she did — and that was to touch the world.

As HELLO BEAUTIFUL previously reported, Kenneka left home around 11:30 pm on September 9 to attend a kickback with friends at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois. She was found dead in a freezer.

Since news hit of Kenneka’s death there has been a lot of online chatter and theories about happenedincluding her own friends being behind her death and even luring her into a gang rapeRosemont police are still awaiting toxicology reports before making a final determination on Jenkins’ cause of death.

In the meantime, her family continues to press police to find out if Kenneka’s death was a result of foul play. “Show me the video of my child walking into that freezer,” Martin said during a recent Facebook Live video.

Police have yet to do that.

RIP Kenneka.


Kenneka Jenkins’ Mother Says She Was Taken Advantage Of By Activists, Funeral To Be Held On Saturday

Here’s Everything We Know About The Mysterious Death Of Kenneka Jenkins

Update: Kenneka Jenkins Freezer Footage Doesn’t Exist

#SayHerName: Black Female Victims Of Police Brutality And Neglect
NewsOne Top 5: More Questions In The Sandra Bland Case, Feds Snatch Emails & Phones In Kendrick Johnson Case...AND MORE
0 photos

For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.