CHICAGO — Friends and loved ones of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins, whose body was found in a Rosemont hotel freezer, are asking the FBI to get involved into the investigation of her death.
Jenkins’ friends and family marched from the high school she attended on the West Side to the FBI Chicago headquarters.
Those activists came to the headquarters to demand the FBI’s involvement in the investigation and are threatening an economic boycott of Rosemont if they don’t get more information on how and why Jenkins died.
“It I’m just looking for help, that’s all I’ve been asking for since day one,” said Tereasa Martin, Jenkins’ mother.
Martin is demanding a federal investigation into what she believes is a “cover-up” of her daughter’s death.
She and other activists are alleging that surveillance video of her daughter’s final moments alive has been altered.
“It doesn’t make sense – and I’m not a professional, but the FBI from what I heard – they are professionals,” said Martin.
Her daughter had attended a party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, a party that stretched into the early morning hours on September 9th.
Jenkins went missing in the pre-dawn hours.
Her mother was notified, and called 911. Jenkins was found in the freezer on September 10th.
Friday Rosemont police released surveillance video showing Jenkins stumbling through the empty hotel kitchen and then staggering around the corner, and out of sight.
It’s the last time she’s seen alive.
The video does not show her entering the walk-in freezer.
Rosemont police say they’re conducting a death investigation, not a homicide investigation.
But after a memorial gathering in which family released purple balloons to honor Jenkins life, they’re asking ‘could her life have been saved?’ and they’re accusing authorities of trying to make sure that question isn’t answered.
Mark Carter – a community activist – says until an independent investigation is underway, he’ll lead 30-straight days of protests designed to harm Rosemont businesses.
“If we can’t get the answers that we want, then we must cause Rosemont an economic hardship. They must feel this. No cover up. You will not cover up the death of our children. This has gone on for far too long,” said Carter.
The medical examiner has not yet released a cause and manner of death in this case, attorneys for the family say they might seek a second autopsy – and conduct their own investigation.