The Chicago teenager whose mysterious death ignited a slew of conspiracy theories and protests in and around her hometown was found to have died of hypothermia under accidental circumstances after she wound up in a hotel’s walk-in-freezer.
Kenneka Jenkins attended a party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, on September 8 and was reported missing the next day, the New York Times reported. It was not until September 10 that investigators discovered her body in a freezer in an under-construction part of the hotel.
Jenkins’ death sparked controversy across social media, where many users posted videos outlining theories about how she actually met her end. Many argued that police had orchestrated a cover-up of her death, even going so far as to fake the surveillance footage that purportedly showed Jenkins wandering through the hotel under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
However, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office debunked any outlandish scenarios on Friday by announcing that Jenkins had died of hypothermia. A mixture of alcohol and topiramate, a prescription anti-migraine and anti-seizure drug, were listed as “significant contributing factors.”
When the autopsy results failed to dispel the controversy surrounding Jenkins’ death – with many users on Facebook and YouTube offering their own theories as to what actually happened – the Rosemont Police Department released a statement saying that “no sign of foul play appears to exist.”
Now, a lawyer representing Jenkins’ family, Larry R. Rogers Jr., claims that his law firm is carrying out an independent investigation to determine why the hotel “refused repeated requests to review available security camera footage” when Jenkins went missing and why “an empty and unused freezer in the back of this abandoned unused kitchen was on and operating and accessible.”