New Kenneka Jenkins Details Emerge About Teen's Death in Freezer, Quashing Conspiracy Theories

Kenneka Jenkins went missing at a party at a Rosemont, Illinois, hotel. Her body was later found in the hotel's walk-in freezer. Facebook

Chicago cops have released new details about the investigation into the death of Kenneka Jenkins, the teenage girl found dead in a hotel's walk-in freezer in the city on September 10.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the newly released documents build up a picture of the night Jenkins died—how she went to an event in one of the hotel's rooms, became intoxicated, and appeared to have become separated from friends who left her briefly in a hallway while they searched for her phone and keys.

One friend said Jenkins, 19, had been swaying, and that after she left with two friends, one returned for her phone. The two friends subsequently said she was missing but "didn't make it seem important," at first, police reports said.

Video released by police shows Jenkins stumbling around various corridors of the hotel but does not show her entering the freezer.

The discovery of Jenkins' body prompted mourning, rage, and wild speculation throughout the city of Chicago.

People protested outside the Crowne Plaza O'Hare Hotel where she was discovered, some believing the hotel staff did not take reports of her being missing seriously. According to the Tribune, a range of different theories circulated on social media as to what had caused her death, including accusations against specific people.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office has said that Jenkins was died from hypothermia, exacerbated by the "significant contributing factors" of intoxication from alcohol, and a drug used in the management of epilepsy.

According to the Tribune report, on September 11 an anonymous call was placed to police in which a woman claimed an acquaintance of Jenkins was a member of a "blood gang" and may have taken $200 in return for her death.

The records released to the paper show that police mentioned that "some people are speculating that Kenneka was sold for $200" while questioning a friend. But the friend said that a mention of that figure on a Facebook live video of the party related to Jenkins's fear of a $200 fine if they used the hotel's parking lot without a permit.

Meanwhile, friends told police they had experienced death threats from people who believed they might have harmed Jenkins. One even moved out of the city after experiencing harassment.

When Jenkins's body was discovered in the freezer it showed no sign of trauma other than a "small cut on her foot." She lay face down and had lost one shoe.

But it is still not entirely clear why the freezer, which was not in use, had been left on. A hotel employee told officers that it was not being used by the hotel, but had been loaned to a company launching a new restaurant in the building.