The mother of Kenneka Jenkins, the 19-year-old found dead in a walk-in freezer, said Tuesday that police threatened to arrest her as she frantically searched the hotel for her missing daughter.
Tereasa Martin, the late teen’s mother, made the explosive claim during an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show. She said police threatened to take her and her daughter into custody as they combed the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, in pursuit of Jenkins, according to Newsweek.
“They came to arrest us,” Jenkins’ sister, Leonore Jenkins, told Mehmet Oz and Nancy Grace during the television appearance.
“With K9s … They asked me what was going on. They have no clue that a young girl even came up missing.”
The magazine reported that a friend allegedly pulled a fire alarm in hopes of questioning guests about Jenkins’ whereabouts. The move led to officers arriving at the Crowne Plaza.
“I knew something was going on with her. I needed help,” Martin said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, hotel staff found the teen’s body in a walk-in freezer on September 10, about 24 hours after she disappeared while attending a party in the building. On October 6, the Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled that Jenkins died of hypothermia and listed alcohol intoxication and the use of topiramate, an anti-epilepsy drug, as contributing factors.
A 911 call played during The Dr. Oz Show revealed a dispatcher asking Martin whether she wants to file a missing persons report. At one point in the call, he tells her the teen is probably with friends and will turn up in a couple hours, according to the Chicago Tribune. Calling from the hotel, Martin then asks if police could view the security footage with the dispatcher responding that the process could take some time.
“I’m angry. I’m hurt also,” the heartbroken mother concluded.
While the Dr. Oz show has not made the full episode available online, you can watch a low video quality version of the Nancy’s appearance on the show with the family below:
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