Police investigating the death of a young woman found in a Rosemont hotel walk-in freezer are reviewing video on social media that appears to show the victim in a ninth-floor room hours before she disappeared over the weekend.
Investigators also have been going over surveillance video and questioning potential witnesses, but they have yet to say how 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins died or why she was in a freezer in a vacant area of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center.
Jenkins’ mother, Tereasa Martin, said she last saw her daughter around 11:30 p.m. Friday when she left their West Side home to go to a party. Jenkins’ sister last spoke with her around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, close to the time she went missing, relatives said.
Her body was not discovered until nearly 24 hours later after the family repeatedly contacted the hotel and police, at one point knocking on doors until officers stopped them. Jenkins was pronounced dead on the scene at 12:48 a.m. Sunday, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Jenkins’ mother said Sunday she was told by police that her daughter apparently let herself into the freezer while drunk and died inside. An autopsy Sunday afternoon failed to determine a cause of death, and the medical examiner’s office said it was awaiting toxicology tests and further investigation by police.
Rosemont spokesman Gary Mack said police are reviewing a Facebook Live video that appears to show Jenkins sitting on a bed in a hotel room with other people around her.
The video — which has gotten more than 3 million views — features a woman in mirrored sunglasses talking to the camera. Reflected in her glasses is the other side of the hotel room, where Jenkins appears to be sitting.
Mack said authorities have identified most of the people on the video.
“Yes, they’ve looked at it and continue to look at it and all the other social media videos and posts,” Mack told the Tribune on Monday. “They are leaving no stone unturned as far as trying to corral everyone they can and talk to them and interview them about what happened and what was going on that night.”
The Facebook video has stoked outrage on social media, where many users believe Jenkins met with some kind of foul play. Some have threatened to harm people in the room.
The video has been shared online more than 46,000 times and has spawned a trending hashtag on Twitter bearing Jenkins’ name.
SOURCE: Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas and John Keilman