Hotel surveillance shows a Chicago teenager walk into a hotel freezer alone before she was found dead inside almost a day later.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Andrew Holmes, who has partnered with many police departments during his time as an anti-violence activist, told the news outlet that Rosemont detectives showed him video footage when he showed up seeking answers on behalf of the family Wednesday.
The footage, he said, shows Jenkins, 19, waiting in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Hotel after her friends had apparently gone back to a hotel room where a party was being held to collect her phone and auto keys.
Meanwhile, Jenkins’ family claims that they have not seen a video in which Jenkins walks into a freezer on her own. The doors close behind her and Jenkins is seen no more, he said.
Holmes said there did not appear to be any foul play involved in Jenkins’ death-and that it was an “accident waiting to happen”. Holmes insisted that those theories are “just something they made up on social media”.
Holmes said a surveillance video shows the woman waiting in the lobby of the hotel for her friends.
Teresa Martin said despite a request she received from Holmes to stop the protest Thursday night, she attended the event and asked for demonstrators to remain peaceful.
Holmes said no one forced her into the freezer, but the family is awaiting the results of the teen’s toxicology report to determine if someone possibly slipped narcotics into her drink. She ended up in an “unsecured” kitchen area in a lower level of the hotel, Holmes said.
While recording on Facebook Live at a Rosemont, Illinois police station, activist Jedidiah Brown stated that in addition to Shelton, Lamon Records, Joshua Gardner, and a fourth person may have also been arrested for trespassing during the protest. She challenged much of what Holmes said and said that she has several unanswered questions about the investigation. “We wanted to be respectful of the police investigation that’s going on, as well as being respectful to the family during the grieving period, but we also wanted them to have access to the footage to view”, said Crowne Plaza spokesman Glen Harston. “The family has not been provided any video or other evidence of Kenneka Jenkins walking into a freezer”, he added. Instead she opened the door to the freezer and was unable to get out. “It could be a blue child, it could be a purple child”.
The Cook County medical examiner was not able to promptly release a cause of death.
Police are still searching for four other people who were at the party they say they want to talk to, but they did not elaborate.
According to Newsweek, Rosemont police reported Wednesday that they had interviewed some 12 people who were involved in the incident, including eight individuals who were with Jenkins before her disappearance. Many said they suspect a cover up.
However, Jenkins’ family is pushing back, saying later Thursday that they were misrepresented by activists who had called for the news conference.
A spokesman for the Crowne Plaza said Thursday said the hotel will pay for Jenkins’ funeral.