Kenneka Jenkins, a 19-year-old from Chicago was recently found dead inside the walk-in freezer of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont. Her family and friends had reported her missing hours before the discovery.
Kenneka was reportedly attending a night party at the hotel with her friends when she went missing early the next morning. When police started searching for her, they decided to watch the hotel surveillance videos and knock on hotel guests doors. Later, they found her body in the freezer where she was immediately pronounced dead.
So, what really happened?
The Rosemont Police Department is saying that Kenneka had been drinking and was intoxicated. She can reportedly be seen on the hotel’s surveillance video around 3:20 a.m. “staggering” near the front desk, and the police say that shortly after that she wondered into the hotel freezer and closed the door behind her. Her friends say that they last saw her on the ninth floor of the hotel.
But Kenneka’s mom, Tereasa Martin, is not accepting that explanation. “Those were double steel doors, she didn’t just pop them open,” she told reporters.
Is the hotel and police department at fault?
Tereasa is also questioning why the police waited so long to search for her daughter. She says that when she arrived at the hotel, she was told that she would have to file a missing person report before she could watch surveillance video of the property. She was also told to wait a few hours before she filed the report with police. And even after filing the report, the family had to wait another 11 hours to view the tapes.
She told the Chicago Tribune, “If they had taken me seriously and checked right away, they could have found my daughter much sooner and she might have been alive.”
A spokesman for Rosement responded with a statement saying: “Anyone can understand how a parent can feel distraught over the loss of a child and feel the need to lash out due to the tremendous pain they’re feeling, and we can certainly understand that. But people can rest assured Rosemont is one of the top, highest trained, most respected police departments in the state of Illinois and does a good job at what they do.”