Chicago police on Wednesday were investigating a Facebook Live video of a woman at a hotel party, hours before she was discovered dead inside a walk-in freezer – leaving her grieving mother confused about how her daughter ended up in a vacant area of the building without her friends.
The body of Kenneka Jenkins, 19, was discovered Sunday morning in the freezer at Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont, 17 miles northwest of Chicago, police said. She was last seen attending a party at the hotel, and her mother, Tereasa Martin, said her daughter was intoxicated before stumbling into the freezer.
Few details have emerged about the night, but police on Tuesday said they were investigating a Facebook Live video, which has been viewed more than three million times, that showed Jenkins in a ninth-floor hotel room, the Chicago Tribune reported. Jenkins could be seen, through the reflection of a woman’s glasses, sitting in the corner of the room.
"Yes, they've looked at it and continue to look at it and all the other social media videos and posts," Gary Mack, village of Rosemont spokesman, told the Chicago Tribune on Monday. "They are leaving no stone unturned as far as trying to corral everyone they can and talk to them and interview them about what happened and what was going on that night."
Mack added that police have identified most people in the video.
"I don't think anything has been ruled in or ruled out at this point," Mack said. "It's just considered a death investigation at this point."
A toxicology test is being conducted after an autopsy failed to determine Jenkins’ cause of death. Martin previously said she was “horrified” by her daughter’s death, saying it was “something that no one could ever imagine.” She recalled not knowing about the hotel party until Jenkins’ friends called her early Saturday morning. Her friends’ accounts of what happened changed within hours, Martin said.
Martin questioned police’s explanation of how Jenkins ended up in the freezer while she was drunk.
"[Police] said she stumbled her way into the freezer,” Martin said on Sunday. "Those were double steel doors, she didn't just pop them open."
Martin also slammed the hotel for not taking immediate action when she approached them about her missing daughter. She said the hotel only began reviewing surveillance video around 3 p.m. – by which time Jenkins had already been missing for hours.
The freezer was discovered in a section of the hotel that was under construction. Police did not disclose who found Jenkins’ body because of the ongoing investigation. The freezer was empty, but it’s unclear if it was on at the time, despite initial reports saying the appliance was on.
"If it was unused, I don't know. Sometimes people keep refrigerators on all the time even if they're unused," he told the Chicago Tribune.