As protesters and concerned citizens pressure Chicago police for answers about the 19-year-old woman whose body was found inside an industrial-sized hotel freezer last week, new information has been released.
The Rosemont Police Department said Wednesday evening that they have interviewed 12 people in connection with the mysterious case of Kenneka Jenkins, who was last seen at a ninth-floor party at the hotel early Saturday morning. She was reported missing later that day.
A Facebook Live video appeared to show Jenkins sitting on a bed in a hotel room, surrounded by others, according to the Chicago Tribune. She was visible in the reflection of the sunglasses sported by the woman filming the video. The video has since gone viral, sparking outrage, theories and more questions.
"Eight of those people interviewed were present the night/morning of the hotel gathering," the police department said in a statement, according to ABC News. "Additionally, we have positively identified four others who were present the night of the gathering and are working to locate and interview them."
Police added that "certain videos related to this investigation" have been sent to specialized forensic technicians for further analysis. In addition to social media, police say they are looking at surveillance footage from the hotel. Police told the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday that Jenkins’ mother, Tereasa Martin, would be shown the security footage on Thursday.
Still, people in the community have their doubts that police are doing all they can. Over 100 protesters have been active around the hotel.
"Our concern is that it was possibly foul play. I think that's what everybody's concern is, that there was a possible cover-up of her death," activist William Calloway told ABC Chicago station WLS.
Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens said that the speculations surrounding the mysterious death could do more harm than good.
"It's unfortunate a lot of the social media posts that are going on and the rhetoric that's going on and that is sort of convoluting things and making things a little more difficult,” Stephens said.
Jenkins’ mother Tereasa Martin, told the Chicago Tribune that police said her daughter walked into the freezer while drunk and died inside. But, Martin said, if her daughter was drunk, she wouldn’t be able to open the heavy freezer doors.
"Those were double steel doors, she didn’t just pop them open," she said.
The distraught mother suspects foul play.
"I believe someone in this hotel killed my child," Martin told WGNTV.
Martin said her daughter’s friends called her at around 4:30 am claiming Jenkins disappeared after they left her alone in a hotel hallway. Those friends had Jenkins’ cell phone, keys and car. Martin claims that the friends' "stories changed over and over."
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