Video released showing woman who was found dead in Illinois hotel freezer

ByLaura Podesta WLS logo
Friday, September 15, 2017

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Portions of surveillance video were released Friday, showing a woman walking the halls of an Illinois hotel more than a day before she was found dead inside a basement freezer.

The videos do not show Kenneka Jenkins walking into the freezer, but they do show her in a kitchen and then walking out of frame. She appears to be disoriented and is seen stumbling in the videos.


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Less than an hour before the videos were released to the media, Jenkins' mother, Teresa Martin, and her attorneys - Larry Rogers, Jr. and Sam Adams, Jr. - held a press conference imploring the hotel and authorities to release all of the video.

Martin and her attorneys were also given snippets of the video, but were frustrated that none show her walking into the freezer. They said they only want to know what happened to Jenkins.

"Serious questions remain as to how she ended up in a Crowne Plaza Hotel freezer and why it took a day and a half for the hotel to find Kenneka," Rogers said.


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Jenkins' body was discovered in a basement walk-in freezer early Sunday morning in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois.

The discovery was made roughly 24 hours after the 19-year-old was last seen at a party on the 9th floor of the hotel. Drugs and alcohol were reportedly present at the party.

The hotel has 47 cameras that captured about 36 hours of surveillance video footage.

Andrew Holmes, a community activist in Chicago who viewed the footage Thursday, said the young woman was alone the whole time she was in the basement and may have been trying to get out. He said she may have thought the walk-in freezer was an exit.

"From me looking at the video, she was trying to find her way back upstairs to the lobby and she was checking the doors just trying to find her way upstairs," Holmes said.

Rosemont police said they would be releasing all of the roughly 36 hours of surveillance video from the hotel and 911 audio recordings as well.


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Police have told ABC7's sister station WLS-TV from the beginning of their investigation they do not suspect any foul play is involved in the young woman's death.

Protesters have been around the Crown Plaza Hotel over the last two days, demanding more transparency from police in their investigation into Jenkins' death. Many said they suspect a cover-up.

Police said that they have handed over the hotel video to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, which has not yet ruled on the cause and manner of her death.