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Hotel freezer where woman was found dead did not have lock, according to source

ROSEMONT, Ill. – A source tells WGN Investigates that the hotel freezer where a young woman was found dead did not have a lock and did have a mechanism to open the door from the inside.

Rosemont police are investigating how 19 year-old Kenneka Jenkins wound up in that freezer, and whether there was any foul play.

Earlier Thursday, representatives for the Crowne Plaza Hotel say they have released 36 hours of surveillance video from 40 different cameras to police. The police have since passed copies of the footage on to Jenkins’ family so they can review it before it is released to the public.

“They will now be able to view this footage at their convenience yet still have the opportunity to come to the police station at any time to discuss or review the footage with investigators,” Rosemont Police said in a statement.

Jenkins’ body was found in the freezer early Sunday, nearly a day after relatives first contacted the hotel and police to report her missing. Police say she was last seen at a party at the hotel Saturday.

The statement also said police are sharing the video and other updates with representatives of Kenneka’s mother Tereasa Martin today.  The spokesperson said some surveillance video has already been shared with the family.

The hotel has also offered to pay for the funeral costs for Jenkins.

The statement goes on to say:

The entire Crowne Plaza at Rosemont family grieves the death of Kenneka Jenkins. It is the tragic loss of a promising young person.  We offer her family our deepest sympathies. … Our hearts go out to the Kenneka’s mother, her family and friends. We hope covering the funeral costs provides a small bit of relief for them.

Police say they’ve interviewed a dozen people who were at the hotel when Jenkins disappeared or are otherwise involved. They say they are still looking to talk to four people who were at the party.

Police allegedly told the teen’s mother that one surveillance video showed Jenkins inebriated near the front desk. But the family questions how she could then open a heavy freezer door if she could barely stand.

Jenkins’ family and others protested outside the hotel Wednesday evening.

The Medical Examiner’s Office reports an autopsy on Jenkins was inconclusive.