Viral Facebook video the central focus of investigation into death of Chicago teen found in hotel freezer

September 13, 2017 8:58 AM

Monya Fleming

Senior Contributor

Facebook video footage taken hours before 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins' death are now part of the investigation. Jenkins was found dead in a walk-in freezer at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Chicago on Sunday. 

Authorities are reviewing the videos posted to Facebook as they search for clues into Kenneka's mysterious death.

A Facebook live video filmed at around 1:36 a.m. on Saturday shows Kenneka's friends, including Monifah Shelton, as they hang out in a hotel room listening to music. 

Kenneka is not shown in the first video, but a second video shows her in the same hotel bathroom after she was reportedly missing. It is not known which video was actually recorded first.

One video shows Kenneka's friend, Irene Roberts, looking into the camera wearing reflective sunglasses. The video appears to show the outline of a man, captured in the reflection of Irene's shades. 

The voices of two men can be heard in the video, along with the sound of a woman crying out. A woman in the background is heard saying, "It's big ain't it." Another woman can later be heard saying, "I am enjoying myself", with an unidentified woman responding, "I don't think so."


On Saturday afternoon, around the time Kenneka was reporting missing, Shelton shared footage which showed the pair in the same bathroom. Kenneka is shown laughing and speaking with slurred speech.

Early Sunday morning, two hours after Kenneka's body was found, Shelton shared another video of herself standing next to Kenneka in an elevator.


Rosemont Police spokesman, Gary Mack, said, "They've looked at it and continue to look at it and all the other social media videos and posts. They are leaving no stone unturned as far as trying to corral everyone they can and talk to them and interview them about what happened and what was going on that night."

She's been on my mind since I read her story. 😢😢🙏🏽 #Kenneka #KennekaJenkins #RIP

Kenneka's mother, Tereasa Martin, revealed that police told her that her daughter had stumbled into the freezer by herself while drunk. Her mother is not buying that story because she doesn't believe Kenneka could have opened the heavy freezer door while drunk.

Martin said, "I believe someone in this hotel killed my child."

Martin revealed that her daughter's friends called the family to claim she was missing at around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday. The family rushed to the hotel and alerted the staff. The hotel reviewed surveillance footage and found Kenneka's body in the freezer around midnight. 


The hotel issued a statement saying, "The Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel and Conference Center holds the safety, security and well-being of our guests and employees as our top priority and concern. We are saddened by this news, and our thoughts are with the young woman and her family during this difficult time. The hotel staff will continue to cooperate fully with local authorities. All further questions should be directed to the Rosemont Police Department."

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