Kenneka Jenkins Found in a Hotel Freezer; Mystery and Legal Questions Surround Death of Chicago Teen

Image via Chicago Tribune

Chicago police will investigate the mystery surrounding the death of a 19-year-old West Side lady named Kenneka Jenkins, who was found dead in Rosemont Hotel’s freezer.

In an interview with Chicago’s evening news, Tereasa Martin, the mother of Kenneka Jenkins, explains how she discovered her daughter was deceased and the mystery surrounding her death.


According to Jenkin’s mother, the 19-year-old teen left home on the Near West Side for a party on the ninth floor of the Crowne Plaza Rosemont Hotel around 11:30 p.m. She was later seen staggering.

Image of Kenneka Jenkins Facebook taken from Everipedia

Jenkins was celebrating her new job at a nursing home with friends.

Ms. Martin stated she received a call around 4:30 a.m Saturday from friends who said they couldn’t find Jenkins after the party. Martin said she immediately went to the hotel and asked them to check surveillance footage to see if they could locate her daughter, she told the news station.

Martin then called 911, and dispatchers told her to wait for a few more hours because Jenkins may have been with friends.

According to Chicago News, Harris’ (Jenkins sister) filed a missing person report with the Rosemont Police Saturday afternoon. Rosemont police said after the report was filed, the hotel “actively canvassed and searched the immediate area.”

“Jenkins’ body was discovered in a walk-in freezer in the hotel around 12:24 a.m Sunday,” according to police. “She was so drunk–that was his exact words–she was so drunk she couldn’t hold herself up. She was holding on to the wall,” Martin said.

Martin and Kenneka’s sister are questioning what really lead to the death of Kenneka. They are not satisfied with the versions being reported. Martin raised questions, “If her daughter was drunk, she would have had difficulty opening the heavy freezer doors and would have realized she wasn’t entering an elevator or the hotel entrance.”

“The freezer door is heavy. So there’s no way. If they’re saying she’s drunk, she don’t have no strength. If she had enough strength to open that freezer door, she would have had enough strength to walk straight,” Harris told reporters.

“I believe someone in this hotel killed my child,” Martin stated.

Currently, there is no cause and manner of death. An autopsy was performed but it didnt confirm whether foul play was suspected. Martin believes if the hotel had taken her seriously and began an immediate search, her daughter may still be alive.

Proving That a Hotel Was Negligent

Per, on a legal note, “Hotels can be held liable for injuries to guests, and can be also held responsible for negligent acts of hotel employees.”

“In order to hold a hotel legally responsible for injuries that occurred on the premises, you’ll need to establish that the hotel was somehow negligent. That means showing that the hotel breached a duty owed to a person who was injured on the premises, and that the breach of duty caused the injury.”

Hotel video footage is available, however, Jenkins could only be seen “staggering” past the hotel front desk.

GCE sends their condolences to Jenkin’s family and it is our hope and prayer that justice prevails.


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