The mother of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins on Monday demanded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation take over the probe into how her daughter ended up dead in a suburban Chicago hotel walk-in freezer on September 10, according to a report in The Chicago Tribune. Teresa Martin said that she believes that crucial evidence in her daughter’s death has been withheld by Chicago police.
Toxicology reports on Jenkins have not been completed and as a result, police have not publicly identified a cause of death for Jenkins. But Martin says that police told her that Jenkins was “so drunk that she couldn’t hold herself up,” an explanation that Martin says only muddies the question of how the young woman got into the freezer, Martin told the Chicago TV station WGN.
Hotel security camera video from inside the Rosemont, Illinois, Crowne Plaza Hotel — near the busy O’Hare Airport — was released by police over the weekend — but while the videos show Jenkins wandering alone through the hotel kitchen in an apparently impaired state at about 3:20 a.m. on September 9, no image on any of the surveillance videos shows Jenkins approaching or entering the freezer where she was found “frozen solid” a full day later, in the early morning of September 10, according to a WGN TV report.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 18, 2017
Excerpts from that video can be viewed below on this page. While police continue to insist that Jenkins let herself into the hotel freezer, for some reason, and that they do not suspect foul play, Martin remains unsatisfied with the police account and has said that she wants know if her daughter was murdered.
“The freezer door is heavy. So there’s no way. If they’re saying she’s drunk, she don’t have no strength. If she had enough strength to open that freezer door, she would have had enough strength to walk straight,” Martin said last week.
On Saturday, Martin and about 100 supporters gathered at Chicago’s FBI field office headquarters to demand a federal probe into Jenkins’ bizarre death. At the gathering, Martin said that she is concerned that the videos of her daughter’s final walk through the hotel — where she had earlier met a large group of friends for a party in a ninth-floor room at the Crowne Plaza — may have been edited to create a misleading sequence of events, according to a Tribune report.
“I’m not a professional, but the FBI, from what I heard, they are professionals. I’m just looking for help. That’s all I’ve been asking for since day one,” Martin said on Saturday.
To watch excerpts from the hotel surveillance footage of what police say are likely the final moments of Kenneka Jenkins’ life, see the video below.
The tragic and baffling case has ignited a wave of speculation and conspiracy theories on social media, including one popular theory holding that the videos have been altered to delete the images of other individuals who — the social media theories hold — were following Jenkins and likely killed her.
In the following video, taken on a residential floor in the hotel, social media conspiracy theorists say that the figure of a man can be seen at the end of a hallway where Jenkins appears to be walking unsteadily and bracing herself against the wall.
A local Chicago anti-violence activist, Andrew Holmes, said last week that he had personally viewed surveillance video showing Jenkins walking into the hotel freezer where she was later found. But Martin disputed Holmes’ account, saying that the activist did not represent her family.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) September 15, 2017
Holmes also said that in his view, Jenkins was not forced into the freezer, but there was a possibility that someone had drugged her by placing some sort of narcotic into a drink that she consumed earlier.
A spokesperson for the FBI’s Chicago office said that the Bureau would provide support for Chicago police and other local law enforcement in the Kenneka Jenkins death investigation, but would not open a federal investigation unless they were specifically directed to do so, according to Newsweek magazine.
[Featured Image By Remembering Kenneka Jenkins Facebook]