New photos released of Kenneka Jenkins’ dead body inside a Chicago hotel freezer has her family and their legal team all the more suspicious about her death.
As a part of a documents and videos release related to the case, Rosemont police officials posted dozens of postmortem photographs of Jenkins taken while here body was still in the freezer where she was found deceased, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.
Those same authorities also announced late Friday (October 20) that they have closed the investigation into Jenkins’ death and have determined it to be accidental, saying there’s “no evidence that indicates any other conclusion.”
Authorities showed the photographs to Jenkins’ family on Thursday. Sam Adam Jr., a lawyer for Jenkins’ mother Tereasa Martin, described them as “graphic and disturbing images (that) inexplicably show portions of Kenneka’s body exposed.”
The 19-year-old was found dead inside a Rosemont hotel freezer on September 10, around 21 hours after she went missing from a party she attended in a room on the ninth floor.
Rosemont police reports stated she was found dead on her side, face down, with her left arm underneath her, her right shoe off and a small cut on her right foot.
The photographs, however, tell a different story, revealing that she was still wearing the jeans and jean jacket shown in the surveillance videos of her walking around stumbling prior to her death. The shirt beneath her jacket “was pulled up exposing her breasts.”
“Frankly, the photos depicting how Kenneka was found raise more questions about what happened to Kenneka Jenkins than they answer,” Rogers said in the news release.
The clothing removal has been explained by scientists who have studied hypothermia. Their claim of a phenomenon known as “paradoxical undressing” explains how Jenkins’ was found in that manner. During paradoxical undressing, people freezing to death remove their clothing.
“It is concluded that paradoxical undressing might be explained by changes in peripheral vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels supplying the extremities) in the deeply hypothermic person,” A 1979 scientific journal article reads. “It represents the last effort of the victim and is followed almost immediately by unconsciousness and death.”
A Thursday evening news release by Jenkins’ family lawyers says the death-scene photos were first shown to the family by Rosemont police during a meeting to update the family on the investigation. They claim the police previously denied requests to view materials pertinent to the case.
“Numerous requests for any and all videos and photos showing Ms. Jenkins going into the freezer of her own volition have not been forthcoming, and quite frankly raise more questions than answers as to how and why Ms. Jenkins was found in the condition in which she was located,” the attorneys said.
There’s been no indication from law enforcement that any surveillance video exists directly showing Jenkins walking into the freezer where she was found.
(Photo: Kenneka Jenkins via Facebook)