Police release videos of Kenneka Jenkins at Crowne Plaza

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - Authorities Friday released images of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins captured on surveillance video at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where she was found dead in a walk-in freezer last weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Rosemont police released nine video files Friday afternoon, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. One video shows her walking alone in the hotel kitchen around 3:30 a.m. Saturday but does not directly show her walking into the freezer where she was found dead.

The release of the videos came hours after the lawyer for Jenkins’ mother said “serious questions remain” about the circumstances involving Jenkins’ death — and capped a week of apparent miscommunication between several of the parties involved.

Rosemont police opted to make the videos public during a press conference held by Jenkins’ mother’s attorneys — during which those attorneys repeatedly said they had been shown only a few “snippets” of video from the night Jenkins died. A day earlier, the Crowne Plaza had issued a statement offering to show Jenkins’ family all 36 hours of footage in private.

Jenkins left her home near the United Center at 11:30 p.m. Friday to go to a party in a room of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, according to Rosemont Police. Jenkins’ sister last heard from her via text message about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

About 4 a.m., Jenkins’ friends called her mother to tell her they could not find her, Holmes has said. An hour later, Tereasa Martin — who had recently undergone a double mastectomy — was at the hotel. She filled out a police report and Jenkins’ sister reported her missing.

Jenkins was last seen at a party on the ninth floor of the hotel in the early hours of Saturday, police said. She was reported missing at 1:16 p.m. that afternoon. Police told Martin that surveillance footage showed Jenkins inebriated near the front desk, according to Holmes.

Hotel staff and management searched the hotel and discovered Jenkins inside a freezer at 12:24 a.m. Sunday, police said.

Rosemont police released a statement Friday evening saying detectives had interviewed 25 people so far during their investigation so far, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Of those, 16 were in the hotel room during the party. Police continue trying to locate and interview another 15.

It was also determined, police said, that the room used for the party was paid for with a “fraudulent credit card obtained through identity theft.”

Since the weekend, Twitter and Facebook have been deluged with theories about Jenkins’ death — with many believing she was murdered. Rosemont police have said Jenkins’ death is considered noncriminal and that there was “no credible evidence at this point” that would prompt police to reclassify Jenkins’ death as a murder. Her autopsy was inconclusive pending further study.

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