Kanneka Jenkins, the Chicago woman whose body was found in an unused hotel freezer, was not a victim of foul play, and her death has been ruled an accident, Fox News is reporting.
Jenkins, 19, was last seen alive on September 9, when she left her Chicago home to attend a party at the tony Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont. Her frozen body was discovered 12:24 a.m. Sept. 10.
At the time, her family speculated that she may have been the victim of foul play. What’s more, the Chicago and Rosemone police departments’ silence on the issue led to speculation on social media that the young woman had been murdered.
However, police have since concluded that her death was an accident, based on toxicology reports and surveillance camera footage.
Surveillance camera footage shows Jenkins walking into an unused freezer in an unused and abandoned kitchen in the hotel, at 3:32 a.m. Sept. 9. Although the angle of the camera does not show the freezer door, Jenkins was alone was she was seen on the video and authorities believe she entered the freezer on her own.
She remained there for 21 hours where, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, the temperature was a constant 34 degrees. She could have easily walked out at any time, as the door was not blocked and was fitted with an operational release mechanism.
Officially, Jenkins’ cause of death has been listed as hypothermia – that is, freezing to death.
Such a beautiful young girl???????? rest in peace kenneka???????? pic.twitter.com/nsIFpgEeH7
— Kenneka Jenkins (@Kenneka_jenkins) September 12, 2017
Further, toxicology reports indicate that Jenkins had alcohol and an epilepsy medication – topiramate, for which she did not have a prescription – in her system. Some side-effects of the epilepsy medication include dizziness and impaired judgment, which police view as contributing factors in her entry into the freezer and her inability to get out. There were no indications that she was given any so-called “rape drugs,” such as Rohypnol and ketamine, and her body showed no signs of physical trauma.
“No sign of foul play appears to exist at this time.”
Foul play or no, the circumstances around Jenkins’ death remain murky and shrouded in possible criminal behavior.
For starters, the hotel room in which she attended the party was booked using a stolen credit card, according to the Sun-Times, by a woman believed to be involved in identity theft and altering credit cards. Further, though police have interviewed 30 of the 36 people known to have been in the hotel room that night, the remaining six are “known only by street names,” and known associates of those six have not been cooperating with police.
Jenkins’ mother, Tereasa Martin, still wants answers. She has filed legal paperwork demanding that the hotel preserve the surveillance camera footage from that night, as well as produce schedules of any employees and independent contractors who were at the hotel from Sept. 8 through Sept. 10.
Further, Martin wants to know why the abandoned and unused freezer in which Jenkins died was still operational if it wasn’t in use.
[Featured Image by Evgen_Prozhyrko/Thinkstock]