The Investigation Into Kenneka Jenkins’ Death Is Closed, Now What?



On Oct. 23, 2017, the Chicago Police Department announced the investigation into Kenneka Jenkins’ death was closed. They determined that her death was accidental and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.

The police investigation included 135 reports and 44 interviews. Several hours of video surveillance videos were analyzed, five photo line-ups were conducted, four cell phones went through forensic analysis, three search warrants, and four warrants for preservation of evidence were served, according to the Rosemont Police Department.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that Jenkins died of hypothermia. Additionally, the report indicated that alcohol and a prescription medication that helps prevent seizures and migraines were contributing factors in her accidental death.

However, Rosemont police also reported that the room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel was paid for with a fraudulent credit card and associate with a known gang on the West Side. They believe they have identified the two gang members who booked the room.

Theresa Martin, Jenkins’ mother is not satisfied with the results of the investigation. She stated the pictures of her dead daughter were disturbing and graphic.

The photographs show Jenkins lying on her left side in front of the door with her head in the corner. She still had her jean jacket on, but her shirt was pulled up over her breasts and she only had her left shoe. Her right show was two feet from her body and her foot was scraped. Jenkins’ hair tie was behind her and her pink lip gloss was on the floor in front of her. Her hair was wet and matted down over her face, and her jeans were covered in dirt.

Scientists who have studied hypothermia say the victim tries to remove their clothing as a last-ditch effort to stay alive before losing consciousness. It is called paradoxical undressing and is explained by the narrowing of the blood vessels in the extremities.

One freezer thermostat said 45º and the other said 32º, however, it is not clear how long the doors were left open before the pictures were taken.

Martin was not allowed to see her daughter until five hours after her body was found and her body was bagged up. However, she was told that it did not look like there was any foul play. Martin was told that Jenkins walked into the freezer, closed the door behind her and froze to death. This was before the medical examiner had done a formal investigation. No fingerprints were taken at the scene or on the body.

Andrew Holmes called Martin offering his help, not as an activist, but as a special investigator from the police department. Other activists were raising money during the protests at the Rosemont Crowne Plaza Hotel to cover any arrests and did not notify Martin until the money was collected and the ledger offered to her. She refused to take the ledger over and told them to use the money for the reasons it was donated. People were arrested and paid their bond out of the own pockets.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel offered to pay for Jenkins’ funeral, however, they did not offer the family their condolences. Therefore, Martin refused the offer.

Martin stated adamantly that there is a camera outside the freezer door, however, police and the hotel say different. Holmes stated to Martin and publicly that he saw the surveillance footage of Jenkins walking into the freezer and the door shut behind her.

There are multiple conspiracy theories across many social media platforms. However, the Rosemont Police Department is confident there was no foul play involved in Jenkins’ death and closed the case at the end of October.

By Jeanette Smith


Chicago Tribune: Kenneka Jenkins’ death photos ‘raise more questions,’ lawyer says as police close case
YouTube: Mother of Kenneka Jenkins “BREAKS SILENCE” (NEW)


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