Hotels would be responsible for securing freezers under Chicago City Council ordinance

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(Screen shot from surveillance video released of Kenneka Jenkins at Rosemont hotel)

CHICAGO — The Chicago City Council is considering an ordinance requiring hotels to restrict public access to their employees-only areas — especially their freezers.

The measure was advanced by aldermen Tuesday in response to the death of Kenneka Jenkins whose body was found inside a walk-in freezer at a hotel in Rosemont on September 10.

According to the Chicago Tribune, hotels would have to post signs warning guests about off-limits areas, such as kitchens, laundry rooms and closed pools.

Freezers would need to have alarms or emergency release devices installed inside to prevent someone from being locked in.

19-year-old Jenkins recently died in a walk-in freezer at the Crowne Plaza in Rosemont. An autopsy has determined that Jenkins died of hypothermia from exposure to cold conditions.

Jenkins had left her Chicago home to attend a party at the hotel. She was found about 24 hours after relatives contacted the hotel and police to report her missing.

Surveillance videos released by police days later show Jenkins, alone, wandering through a kitchen area near the freezer.

Hotels not having the proper signs and mechanisms in place would be fined anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 per day.

City Council will consider the ordinance Wednesday.

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