Police close Kenneka Jenkins' death investigation

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SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - Police have closed case of Kenneka Jenkins, who was found dead in a walk-in freezer at the Crowne Plaza Chicago-O’Hare hotel in Rosemont.

On Friday, police released additional photos and documents to the public from the investigation into the 19-year-old Chicago woman’s controversial death inside a Rosemont hotel freezer last month.

Rosemont Police Chief Donald E. Stephens III said in a statement Friday the death of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins was a "sad" accident.

Jenkins’ mother, Tereasa Martin, and sister, Leonore Harris, met with investigators at the Rosemont Police Department for an update Thursday, and police denied their requests to review the full case file, according to a statement from the attorneys.

Instead, police told them the reports, photos and videos would be released publicly on Friday, “with the exception of a few select photographs they wished to share with the family before they were released,” attorneys said, describing them as being “of a personal, private and indecent nature.”

“Frankly, [the] photos depicting how [Jenkins] was found raise more questions about what happened to [her] than they answer,” attorney Larry Rogers Jr. said in the statement. “The pictures are graphic and disturbing images and inexplicably show portions of [her] body exposed.”

A source close to the investigation confirmed the family had been shown redacted and unredacted photos showing Jenkins “in the state in which she was discovered.”

According to the attorneys, the photos show Jenkins’ body as it was found Sept. 10 in an unused walk-in freezer at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. She had last been seen attending a party in a hotel room nearly 20 hours earlier.

The source said the family and its attorney “expressed their appreciation for the village’s exhaustive and thorough investigation,” willingness to discuss the case, and the chance to see the photos before their public release.

Jenkins’ death was ruled an accident by the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy found she died of hypothermia with alcohol and topiramate intoxication — a prescription drug used to treat epilepsy and migraines — listed as contributing factors.

Still, conspiracy theories about a possible cover-up in the investigation have circulated on social media since her death. Police have maintained that no foul play is suspected.