Chicago police are investigating the death of a 19-year-old, whose body was found in a hotel freezer, as reported by FOX32.
The body of Kenneka Jenkins was found by employees of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont early Sunday morning after the teen had been reported as missing. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office officially pronounced her dead at 12:48 a.m., reports indicate.
Police say Jenkins was last seen at a party at the hotel early Saturday and that she was reported missing Saturday afternoon. Authorities do not necessarily suspect foul play, however. It has been alleged that the teen may have been drunk and let herself into the walk-in freezer and became trapped, according to Chicago Tribune.
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Jenkins’ mother, Tereasa Martin, told reporters that police suggested as much, noting that her 19-year-old probably froze to death after trapping herself in the freezer, though an autopsy has yet to officially determine the cause of death.
“(I’m) horrified,” she said. “It’s something that no one could ever imagine. It’s unbelievable.”
Witnesses told police that they saw Jenkins attending a party on the hotel’s ninth floor before her disappearance. The teenager also left her cell phone with friends before allegedly finding the freezer, walking in and freezing to death.
The walk-in freezer is located in a wing of the hotel that is currently undergoing renovation and it is unclear how Jenkins found her way through the remnants of construction, according to Gary Mack, a spokesman for the village of Rosemont.
“I just happen to know there’s work being done on some new facilities over there, so there is some construction activity where a new restaurant is being built, and (she was found) in that vicinity,” he said. “This is not an area where anyone would typically be who was a guest in the hotel.”
The victim’s mother, however, blames hotel staff and police for not taking her seriously and for failing to search the hotel thoroughly.
“If they had taken me seriously and checked right away, they could have found my daughter much sooner and she might have been alive,” she said.
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