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Teen from Chicago found dead in walk-in freezer at hotel

Source: Chicago Tribune / Getty

The devastating, untimely death of Kenneka Jenkins (who goes by Kenneka Martin on Facebook) sent shock waves through the social media community, spawning the hashtag #JusticeForKenneka.

Kenneka’s name trended on Twitter yesterday after the story went viral, spawning numerous citizen detectives who pieced together their own respective theories.

Here’s all we know about the tragic case so far:


Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens commented on the investigation into Kenneka’s mysterious death during his annual village address to the Rosemont Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s unfortunate that some of that stuff’s convoluting the investigation because all those leads have got to be followed up on,” he said. “As I’m sure you’ve seen, there’s a lot of different, conflicting speculation out there, so (police) are doing their best to come to a quick resolution, obviously. I think everybody wants to know what happened.”

Rosemont spokesperson Gary Mack revealed police will show Kenneka’s mother the hotel surveillance footage on Thursday.

“We’re trying to be as understanding as we can to the mom and to be as compassionate as we can,” he said. “Now that our detectives have had the chance to look at it, we’re hopeful it will be helpful to her.”

A march was held for Kenneka Jenkins Wednesday night.

Police reportedly interviewed eight suspects and are four others “who were involved in some way.”

“At this time, the incident is still an active death investigation. Our detectives are working around the clock to identify, locate and interview all persons who were involved,” the police statement said.

Here’s what we know so far…

1. Kenneka Jenkins left home around 11:30 pm on September 9 to attend a kickback with friends at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center.

2. She was reportedly last seen by her friends in the early hours of the morning. Kenneka’s sister last spoke to her at 1:30 am around the alleged time she went missing.

3. The friends called Kenneka’s mother, Teresa Martin, around 4:30 am to inform her they couldn’t find Kenneka. Martin rushed to the hospital and asked hotel staff to see surveillance video, but was referred to police, who instructed her to wait.

4. 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins was found dead in a walk-in freezer in a vacant area of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center.

5. Irene Roberts appeared to be live streaming the “kickback” on Kenneka friend’s Monifa Shelton’s FB page. Kenneka can allegedly be seen in the reflection of camerawoman’s sunglasses in the final moments before she went missing. The video and other social media posts are being investigated by police.

6. Kenneka’s alleged voice can be heard in the background of the video.

7. One of the girls on the live Facebook video reportedly works at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center where Kenneka partied and eventually died.

8. Martin claims police told her Kenneka drunkenly stumbled into the freezer, fell asleep and died.

See new surveillance videos below: