Video shows woman entering hotel freezer alone before her death, activist says

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ROSEMONT, Ill. – A young woman whose body was found in a hotel freezer this weekend reportedly entered the freezer alone.

Chicago activist Andrew Holmes says that he was shown hotel surveillance video and it shows 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins alone in the basement of the hotel.

At times, she is shown stumbling around. Holmes believes it was in an effort to find a door to the staircase to get back up to the lobby.

Holmes says he saw Jenkins open the door to an old freezer which apparently not in use anymore.

A source tells WGN Investigates that the freezer door did not have a lock and it had a mechanism to open the door from the inside.

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.

Rosemont police continue to investigate.

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.

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.

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

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


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