Thrilling Mystery Remains Unsolved

Despite new evidence, police refuse to open cold case

The+hotel+where+the+crime+occurred%3A+Crowne+Plaza.
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Thrilling Mystery Remains Unsolved

The hotel where the crime occurred: Crowne Plaza.

The hotel where the crime occurred: Crowne Plaza.

Photo by Maria Miller (CC)

The hotel where the crime occurred: Crowne Plaza.

Photo by Maria Miller (CC)

Photo by Maria Miller (CC)

The hotel where the crime occurred: Crowne Plaza.

Emma Brisbois

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Kenneka Jenkins was found dead in an industrial freezer in the kitchen of Chicago’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. She was known as a fun-loving and all-around nice person, so when she went missing, it was a shock.

Kenneka had arranged to attend a party at the hotel with some friends on the night of Sept. 8, 2017. The group of girls arrived at the hotel around 11 pm and left around 4 am. Kenneka said that she’d forgotten a personal item in the room, left her friend group, and went back inside the hotel to retrieve it. Kenneka was never seen alive again.

On Sept. 10, 2017, Theresa Martin, Kenneka’s mother, was informed that her daughter’s body had been found. The police found tapes of Kenneka stumbling around the hotel, finally finding her way into the kitchen. The camera’s view didn’t catch her actually entering the freezer, but most investigators believe that she entered the freezer herself.

Many forensic specialists believe that Kenneka had died on Sept. 9, and that the death was accidental, seeing as she was not thinking clearly, and under some kind of influence. On Oct. 20, 2017, the final ruling of the case was issued, and the case was closed.

Sometime during the next week, photos of a deceased Kenneka were leaked. The body was in poor condition, her clothes looked ripped, and she was laid in a way that looks as if she was placed there after she’d already died. Theresa Martin believes that there is much more to the story and that these photos are incriminating evidence that Kenneka didn’t accidentally die, but was murdered.

Theresa was a guest on the television program “Dr. Oz” on Oct. 31, and insisted that there had to be more to the story. She told Oz that The Crowne Plaza Hotel had threatened her with restraining orders when she’d tried to look for her daughter and that the police department had been rather reluctant to let her in on much in this case. She wasn’t even allowed to see Kenneka’s body at first, enter the crime scene, or even enter the hotel.

There are a lot of details in this case that leaves Kenneka’s friends, family, and the rest of the world stumped. The fact that industrial freezer doors are incredibly heavy and that Kenneka was horribly drunk, makes it hard to believe that she could’ve walked in there on her own, the fact that her body was laid in an awful and uncomfortable position, and the idea that she ripped her clothes herself. These small, but important, details make it hard for many people to believe the ruling.

Many users of Reddit and Web-Sleuths.com believe that this may have been some kind of police cover-up, due to the police department’s unwillingness to cooperate with Kenneka’s family. Others think that it may have been some kind of murder that one of the hotel’s staff may have committed. But, as of today, Kenneka Jenkin’s death has been ruled accidental.

Emma Brisbois

Emma joined The Flightline in August of 2017. She is a senior this year, involved in cheerleading and show choir. Outside of school, she enjoys going to concerts, playing the piano and hanging out with friends. You can email her at [email protected]