On Friday, police released dozens of police reports and witness statements regarding the death of Kenneka Jenkins, which address several of the rumors surrounding her death last month. The 19-year-old was found dead in a hotel’s industrial walk-in freezer in Rosemont, Illinois after attending a party on the ninth floor of the hotel with friends a day and a half earlier.
Her death was ruled an accident earlier this month. The medical examiner's office blamed hypothermia, "cold exposure in a walk-in freezer." "Ethanol and topiramate intoxication” contributed to her tragic death, the findings concluded. Topiramate is medication used for epilepsy and migraine treatment. According to CNN, an autopsy found stomach lesions consistent with hypothermia.
The newly released police documents reveal how Jenkins seemed sad. She drank cognac heavily and then seemingly wandered off after her friends left her in a hallway, according to the Chicago Tribune. The reports illustrate the efforts of her family after the teen’s friends called to say she was lost.
The hotel did check surveillance cameras, but only those focusing on entrances and exits at first. Police responded only after a missing persons report was filed. The documents do demonstrate that the police did investigate anonymous tips, even those alleging possible foul play. Many conspiracy theories about Jenkins’ death popped up after her death, many of which were related to social media videos taken at the party. Police asked questions based on many social media speculations.
An anonymous call was made to police on September 11 by a woman who said she saw Jenkins at the party. She claimed a partygoer might have been paid $200 for the teen’s death. A police officer investigated that claim, and a friend told police that Jenkins was worried she’d have to pay $200 fine for parking in the hotel’s lot without a permit.
The officer also addressed the claim that people online heard someone say “help me” on a video from the party. Jenkins’ friend explained the “help me” sound came from a Chief Keef song playing at the time, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The employee who found Jenkins’ body said the kitchen was not in use, so it is unclear why the freezer was on. The camera that caught her stumbling in the kitchen was motion activated. It hadn’t been activated for weeks before Jenkins wandered in, WBBM reported.
The police documents also revealed that some friends thought Jenkins may have just left the party with someone else. One friend told police that two friends told him that Jenkins was missing.
“He stated that they did not make a big deal about it and they didn’t make it seem important so they just left the hotel,” according to the police reports.
[Photo: Rosemont Police Department]
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