The investigation into the death of Chicago teenager Kenneka Jenkins continues as police announced Wednesday that 12 people “who were involved in some way” were interviewed or identified by detectives on the case.
According to a press release distributed by the Rosemont Public Safety Department, eight of the 12 interviewed were “present the night/morning of the hotel gathering.” Police have positively identified and are working to locate the remaining four individuals. Jenkins, 19, was found dead in the freezer of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois in the early hours of Sunday morning.
She was reported missing by friends almost 24 hours earlier.
In addition to interviews, police are also reviewing social media content, videos and surveillance from the Crowne Plaza’s 47 hotel cameras. Police first announced Tuesday that they were investigating a viral video posted by one of Jenkins friends on Facebook. The video appears to show Jenkins and others on the hotel’s ninth floor in the hours before her disappearance.
Police initially told the teen’s family that they spotted her on surveillance video from the hotel “staggering” near the front desk around 3:20 a.m. Saturday. She was found in the freezer at 12:48 a.m. Sunday. Results from an autopsy conducted by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office are pending further studies and the investigation.
“The office will not conduct another autopsy, which is the physical examination of the body. However, further studies are being conducted,” Becky Schlikerman, medical examiner’s office spokesperson, told ESSENCE earlier this week.
Public outrage and protests have followed the news that Jenkins was found dead after hanging out with friends last weekend. While the status of the investigation remains the same, the mother of the teen has suggested that a more malicious factor was at play in her daughter’s death.
“I believe someone in this hotel killed my child,” she told WGN.
The Rosemont Public Safety Department, who extended their “deepest condolences” to Jenkins’ family and friends, says the hotel has been “extremely cooperative” in the investigation.