What Happened to Kenneka Jenkins? The Cause Of Her Death

what happened to kenneka Jenkins

After attending a party there on September 8, 2017, 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins was discovered dead inside a locked freezer at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. 

The party, where her friends had planned a surprise to congratulate her on her new job profession, was scheduled to begin at noon.  

The party became a nightmare for Kenneka, and she was discovered dead in the hotel’s Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare’s locked freezer.

How Did She Die?

Kenneka was enjoying the party as she uploaded her first video from the party to her social media accounts, in which she can be seen smiling and laughing with a pal wearing ripped jeans and a white shirt. But soon after, she went missing. 

Several witnesses claimed to have seen her consume cognac but not marijuana or other illegal substances. 

The hotel security cameras show her walking with a group of unknown people; however, they eventually lose sight of her until 3:27 am.

Jenkins’ mother, Teresa Martin, was contacted by her friends about an hour later, and she arrived at the hotel around 5:30 am to help with the search.

She continued pounding on doors from the top to the bottom floor until a hotel employee complained to 911. On Sunday, September 10, at around 1:00 am, she was discovered inside a hotel freezer. 

According to the Cook County Coroner’s Office, deputies determined that Kenneka Jenkins died from hypothermia, cold exposure in a freezer, as well as ethanol and topiramate toxicity.

What Did The Autopsy Report Reveal About The Police Investigation? 

Jenkins’ death was declared an accident on October 6, 2017, by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. 

According to the postmortem report, Jenkins had no illegal substances in her system, but her blood alcohol content was 0.112.

Although she had never been prescribed topiramate, a substance that is used to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches, there were still traces of it in her system. 

When topiramate and alcohol are combined, they can intensify one other’s effects and speed the onset of hypothermia, which was corroborated by lesions discovered in Jenkins’ stomach.

Although there was evidence of brain enlargement, it was not connected to the cause of death. 

The Rosemont police department released a statement the same day, noting that although there was no indication of wrongdoing, their investigation was still ongoing. 

The Family Filed a Lawsuit 

Geoffrey Fieger, the family’s lawyer, sued the hotel and others for $50 million in 2018.

He showed images of a freezer door with a lock button on the outside and hinted that someone might have accidentally locked the freezer door by demonstrating its existence. 

The security camera, which hadn’t captured any other film since August 30 or after Jenkins’ footage, refuted this. Since the freezer door latches shut but appears to have no lock, the image does not appear to be of the actual freezer door. 

An inside white circular handle that would have allowed a person to depart independently looked fine. The lawyer claimed that the motel possessed a pair of plywood doors with a padlock that could be used to seal off the kitchen area.

The case is still ongoing.

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