After a Chicago community activist held a press conference wherein he said security footage shows 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins walk into the hotel freezer alone, the victim’s mother and protesters continued to demand answers.
During the Thursday press conference, Andrew Holmes told the Chicago Tribune that Rosemont detectives showed him the video. In the video, Holmes said, Jenkins waits in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel until she takes an elevator to the lower level.
According to Holmes, Jenkins appeared to stumble down to the lower level in a disoriented manner. He then said the video shows Jenkins open two doors in a kitchen area and enter the walk-in freezer, where she remained.
Although Holmes said he was convinced no one else forced Jenkins into the freezer, he also said the family is awaiting toxicology tests to see whether narcotics had been put into her drink.
"The important part is we all wanted to know: Did anybody call her down there?" Holmes said during the press conference. "Did anybody force her down there? Was there anybody on the other side of the room when she got down there? And the answer to that is no."
On her way to join protesters outside the hotel on Thursday, Jenkins’ mother, Tereasa Martin, posted to Facebook Live and told protesters to remain peaceful. She also said Holmes contacted her and asked her to encourage protesters to leave because the hotel was not making any money.
In the video, shared by The Shade Room, Martin suggests she should have listened to Holmes. However, when she arrived at the protest, she implied Holmes was misrepresenting her family.
“He came out of the blue and acting ... like he was a friend," Martin said about one of the activists. "But he calls me this morning and says, 'Oh the hotel is not making any money. I think you need to go online and stop the protest.'"
"They were too hush-hush at the hotel," Martin added.
A spokesman for the Crowne Plaza said Thursday that the hotel has offered to pay for Jenkins' funeral.
"The entire Crowne Plaza at Rosemont family grieves the death of Kenneka Jenkins. It is the tragic loss of a promising young person. We offer her family our deepest sympathies…Our hearts go out to Kenneka's mother, her family and friends," spokesman, Glenn Harston, told WGNTV. "We hope covering the funeral costs provides a small bit of relief for them."
(Photo: Kenneka Jenkins via Facebook)