The details of Kenneka Jenkins’ death are still unclear, and her family is, understandably, devastated. Now, Kenneka’s sister is sharing her heartbreak and questioning the police’s account of what happened.
Kenneka Jenkins, 19, was found dead in a hotel walk-in freezer in Rosemont, Illinois on Sept. 10, more than 24 hours after she arrived at the Crowne Plaza for a party on Sept. 8. Her sister, Leonore Harris, was the one to file the missing persons report with police on Sept. 9, and now reveals just how devastated she is over this entire situation. “That’s my baby sister,” she said, according to CBS Chicago. “How can I live life knowing I’ll never see her again?” Like Kenneka’s mom, Tereasa Martin, Leonore is not happy with how police and the hotel handled Kenneka’s disappearance, and isn’t convinced that the 19-year-old simply “stumbled” into the freezer on her own.
“The freezer door is heavy,” she explained. “I worked in a cafeteria before. It’s no way if she’s drunk, and they say she’s stumbling, so she don’t have no strength.” Kenneka was seen on the hotel’s surveillance footage from around 3:20 a.m. on Sept. 9, and police told Tereasa that she appeared to be “staggering drunk” while walking past the front desk at that point. However, it took hours for officials to locate Kenneka in the video. First, the hotel wouldn’t even access the cameras at Tereasa’s initial request, because they told her she needed to file a missing persons report first. Then, when she approached police, they suggested she wait a few hours in case Kenneka showed up on her own.
By the time police finally started looking into Kenneka’s case, it had been nearly 12 hours since anyone heard from her. Upon officials’ first viewing of the surveillance footage, they didn’t even see the teenager, and Tereasa had to beg police for several hours to take another look. Her body was finally found in the freezer around 1:00 a.m. on Sept. 10.
— 🖇 (@justLASHAY_) September 11, 2017
“If [police] had taken me seriously and checked right away, they could’ve found my daughter much sooner,” Tereasa said to the Chicago Tribune. “And she might have been alive.” There is currently an active investigation into this case. Police are looking into everything that is being said on social media, as well as a Facebook LIVE video that was allegedly taken at the party Kenneka attended.
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