Rosemont Police: Teen's Freezer Death ‘Remains the Utmost Priority,' Despite Calls for FBI to Intervene

Rosemont police say they will continue to investigate into the hotel freezer death of a 19-year-old Chicago woman, despite calls for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to intervene.

"This investigation has been and remains the utmost priority for us," Rosemont Police Chief Donald E. Stephens III said in a statement. "Throughout this investigation we have used any and all outside agencies necessary to complete a thorough investigation and will continue to do so as needed. As with any investigation, we have resources and assistance available from the local, county, state, and federal level.

"I am fully confident in the ability of each and every one of the officers, detectives, and leadership team charged with this case. At no time have I doubted the work that is being done," the statement read. 

Supporters and well-wishers gathered for a vigil in honor of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins on Saturday, and their call for answers into the circumstances surrounding her death continued to grow louder.

After a ceremonial balloon release in Jenkins’ honor, some vigil attendees marched to the FBI’s Chicago offices, demanding that the bureau investigate what happened in the final hours of her life.

“I’m just looking for help. That’s all I’ve been asking for since day one,” Jenkins’ mother Teresa Martin said. “I’m looking for help because none of this makes sense.”

On Friday, police released 36 hours of surveillance video from the Crowne Plaza hotel, the Rosemont establishment where Jenkins passed away last weekend. None of the video shows the moment that the 19-year-old walked into a freezer in the hotel, and that has led some to ask that the FBI get involved in the case.  

“We want a second look, and we’re here at the FBI building to ask for a second look to make sure these tapes weren’t altered,” community activist Mark Carter said.

Video shows Kenneka Jenkins with a group of others at a food court inside a Rosemont hotel where she was later found dead. 

One of the videos shows Jenkins walking through a restricted kitchen area at the hotel and not returning. In other videos, Jenkins can be seen walking down hallways and with a group of people in a food court at the hotel.

Jenkins’ body was found in a walk-in freezer on Sunday morning, more than 24 hours after she had gone missing inside the hotel while attending a party there.

Police have still not released a cause of death in the case, and the investigation into what happened on that night remains open. 

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