A Missing Chicago Teen Was Found Dead In A Hotel Freezer And Now Her Family Suspects Foul Play

Kenneka Jenkins facebook photo
Facebook / @RIPkennekajenkins

A day after 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins went missing last weekend, authorities found her dead inside a freezer at the Rosemont hotel in Chicago. She had spent the following evening at a party in a hotel room at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center.

Jenkins’ mother, Tereasa Martin, received a call from her daughter’s friends around 4 a.m. on Saturday. The friends told Martin they lost track of Jenkins at the hotel and that they had gathered her things, including her phone and car keys, and left without her. By Saturday afternoon, when it seemed obvious Jenkins wasn’t coming home, Martin filed a missing persons report with the Rosemont police.

Authorities believe that Jenkins let herself into the freezer while intoxicated and died inside. But while Jenkins’s autopsy didn’t immediately show signs of foul play, her family wasn’t so convinced. They claimed that Jenkins’s friends’ stories changed too often and that it didn’t seem likely that Jenkins could have done it on her own.

“The freezer door is heavy. So there’s no way. If they’re saying she’s drunk, she don’t have no strength,” Jenkins’ sister, Leonore Harris, said in an interview with WGN. “If she had enough strength to open that freezer door, she would have had enough strength to walk straight.”

Martin echoed the same sentiment when she told the press, “I believe someone in this hotel killed my child.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Callie is a writer, editor, and publisher at Thought Catalog. Her debut book, ‘The Words We Left Behind,’ was released in January 2024.

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