We are finally getting some answers as to what happened to Kenneka Jenkins, after her body was discovered in a hotel freezer. The internet fueled with rumors that Kenneka Jenkins was possibly set up, raped and murdered the evening of her death.
Now, it is being reported that there is surveillance footage of Kenneka Jenkins wondering around the hotel attempting to open doors before being seen walking into the freezer.
A Chicago community activist said Thursday that surveillance video from a Rosemont hotel shows Kenneka Jenkins entering a walk-in freezer alone.
Andrew Holmes, who has worked with many police agencies during his years of anti-violence activism, told the Tribune that Rosemont detectives showed him the video Wednesday when he showed up seeking answers on behalf of the family.
He said the video shows Jenkins, 19, waiting in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel after her friends apparently went up to the room in which they had been partying to retrieve some possessions. Jenkins then takes the elevator to a lower level and wanders around, opening doors in an apparently disoriented manner, he said.
Finally, he said, Jenkins opens two doors in a kitchen area and enters the walk-in freezer. The doors close behind her and Jenkins is seen no more, he said.
Holmes said he was convinced no one else forced Jenkins into the area where she died. But he said the family is awaiting toxicology tests to see whether narcotics had been put into her drink.
"The important part is we all wanted to know: Did anybody call her down there?" he said. "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."
Holmes' account undercuts online speculation in recent days that the Chicago teen was murdered. He said the circulating theories are "just something they made up on social media," and urged people with hard information to call authorities.
When asked whether Holmes had been shown the video, Rosemont police spokesman Det. Joe Balogh did not answer directly, but expressed appreciation for Holmes' assistance "on behalf of the family and community pursuant to this investigation."
He said the department has released the surveillance video to Jenkins' family and to the Cook County Medical Examiner, which has yet to rule on the cause and manner of Jenkins' death. Police have also interviewed numerous people involved in the case, he said.
If this is the case, Jenkins mother may have be able to file a civil lawsuit against the hotel. We will have to wait until the footage is released and the autopsy is completed before they are able to confirm exactly what happened to Jenkins that fateful evening.