Chicago Activist Says Kenneka Jenkins Walked Into The Freezer By Herself — Her Family Believes Otherwise (UPDATE)
UPDATE (9/15/2017 at 11:00 a.m. ET):
Social media suspicions and conspiracy theories continue to grow regarding the death of Kenneka Jenkins.
Last week, the Chicago teen went to a hotel party where she went missing. Eventually she was found dead in the hotel’s freezer. Many speculate the teen was murdered, sexually assaulted and set up by her best friends.
However, community activist Andrew Holmes says none of that is true.
Yesterday, he told the Chicago Tribune he viewed the surveillance footage from the hotel on Wednesday, September 13. Andrew traveled to the hotel, allegedly seeking answers on behalf of Kenneka’s family.
The security footage is said to show Kenneka waiting in the lobby of the Crown Plaza Hotel. Her friends went back to the hotel room where the party was held to get their belongings.
While waiting for them, Andrew say Kenneka begins to explore the hotel and takes the elevator to the lower level. There she is seen walking aimlessly and in a disoriented state while opening doors.
Eventually, Kenneka enters the kitchen area and opens the door to a walk-in freezer, never to come back out.
After watching the video Andrea said: “The important part is we all wanted to know: Did anybody call her down there?
“Did anybody force her down there? Was there anybody on the other side of the room when she got down there? And the answer to that is no.”
Despite Andrew’s claims, Kenneka’s family and social media following are not taking what he said as truth.
When Kenneka’s mother Teresa Martin was informed about her missing daughter, she claimed Kenneka’s friends told her several stories about how her child went missing.
Also, Crowne Plaza Hotel took a long time to cooperate with the investigation and the police department didn’t take time to review the case. As soon as they found Kenneka’s body they said “no foul play” occurred, even before the coroner's report became available.
Unfortunately, the autopsy that was conducted on Kenneka’s body didn’t determine the cause of her death, The Root reports.
Kenneka’s family also says many activists like Andrew Holmes are behaving as though they have a professional relationship with the family, even though they don’t. Teresa told the Chicago Tribune he misrepresented the family when he went to view the surveillance video.
The more information that becomes available about this case, the stranger it gets.
Read on to learn more details about Kenneka’s tragic death.
Original story (9/13/2017 at 3:15 p.m. ET):
Chicago teenager Kenneka Jenkins told her mother she would be going out around 11:30 p.m. Friday with friends. Two days later, the 19-year-old was found dead in a hotel freezer.
Between the hours that Kenneka was missing, her friends, Irene Roberts and Monifa Shelton, called her mother, Teresa Martin, to let her know what had happened.
When Kenneka's mother called the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel & Conference center, where the friends said they were located, to review their security footage, staff members told her she would need to file a missing persons report first, just in case Kenneka was no longer missing.
Since news broke about the teen’s death, the Chicago Police Department has remained quiet about the investigation.
Despite this, Kenneka's mother and sister suspect foul play.
"I believe someone in this hotel killed my child," Teresa told Chicago news station WGN9.
Becky Schlikerman, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office, told ESSENCE, "The only information I can provide at this time is that an autopsy was performed and that the cause and manner of death is pending further studies and the ongoing investigation."
Here are the facts we know thus far about the Kenneka Jenkins case:
Kenneka told her mother she was initially going bowling with her friends. Around 4:00 a.m., Kenneka's friends called her mother to say she was missing.
They also disclosed that instead of bowling, they had a hotel party for Irene’s birthday in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont. When the alleged party was over, the friends said they couldn't find Kenneka.
Oddly enough, the victim’s friends were in possession of her car and cell phone. The Chicago Tribune reports the pals said they last saw her on the ninth floor of the hotel.
They told her mother when they were ready to leave they noticed the teen’s phone and car keys were still in the hotel room. The two friends said they went back in the hotel room to retrieve Kenneka's items, leaving her in the hallway. When they re-entered the hallway, Kenneka was reportedly gone.
Unfortunately, the friends changed their story repeatedly, leading Teresa to doubt that they were telling the truth.
Kenneka's sister, Leonore Harris, filed the missing persons report on Saturday morning. At 1:15 p.m., the search for Kenneka began, only to end on 12:48 a.m. Sunday morning when she was found in a freezer located in the construction area of the hotel.
The police say Kenneka was seen on the surveillance tape "staggering" near the front desk around 3:20 a.m. by herself. The police believe the teen was drunk and stumbled into the freezer.
Teresa and Leonore told the Tribune they don't believe the police.
In an interview with CBS Chicago, Leonore said: "The freezer door is heavy. I worked in a cafeteria before. It's no way if she's drunk, and they saying she's stumbling, so she don't have no [sic] strength.
“That's my baby sister. How can I live life knowing I'll never see her again?"
Yesterday, September 12, a video of the hotel party surfaced on Facebook. The police say they've been able to identify the people featured in the video for questioning.
However, Rosemont spokesman Gary Mack revealed Kenneka's death is not being considered a homicide as of yet.
"Since there is no hard evidence pointing in the direction of foul play or homicide, it is still being considered a death investigation," he said.
While the police debate whether Kenneka was murdered or not, Black Twitter is sold on the conspiracy theory that the teen was set up by her friends to be raped and murdered.
Kenneka’s friend Irene has since deactivated her Facebook account, whereas Monifa is justifying to the public that she didn’t harm her “best friend since third grade.”
Here’s what Twitter users have to say about the case:
if it happened to a white woman, it would've made every major news outlet, tell me why i'm finding out about #KennekaJenkins on twitter???lay (@laynemconrad) September 12, 2017
Rape culture: when a girl is set up, raped + murdered, & the choice advice given to the public is "pick your friends wisely" #KennekaJenkinsstitch (@lanesterrr) September 12, 2017
Watch the videos from the night Kenneka disappeared below.
What are your thoughts about this case? Let us know in the comments!