Chicago Teen Kenneka Jenkins Found Dead in Walk-In Freezer; Chance the Rapper Vows Justice
Tragedy has struck Chicago after a 19-year-old woman from the city was found dead inside of a walk-in freezer at hotel in Rosemont, Illinois on Sunday morning. The teen's body was found after she had gone missing from a party where she was with friends.
According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the woman, Kenneka Jenkins, was found after an hours-long search and was pronounced dead at 12:48 a.m. Jenkins' mother, Tereasa Martin, said police told her Jenkins most likely put herself in the freezer while inebriated and died inside.
Speaking with reporters outside of the hotel, Jenkins' mother said she was finding it difficult to understand what happened to her daughter. "[I'm] horrified," she said. "It's something that no one could ever imagine. It's unbelievable."
After looking through surveillance footage from the hotel, police spotted Jenkins on video, "staggering" drunk near the hotel's front desk. It's unclear who found the teen's body but according to Gary Mack, a spokesman for the village of Rosemont, Jenkins' body was found in an area of the hotel were construction was taking place.
"I just happen to know there's work being done on some new facilities over there, so there is some construction activity where a new restaurant is being built, and (she was found) in that vicinity," Mack said. "This is not an area where anyone would typically be who was a guest in the hotel."
An autopsy was performed on Sunday but did not immediately reveal whether foul play was at hand. The cause of Jenkins' death is still undetermined.
However, a video allegedly featuring Jenkins screaming for help, in which voices can be heard saying "let's rape her," has been circulating in the wake of the horrifying news, prompting many activists to call for justice to be served and to declare that black girls must be protected. Among those speaking out is Chicago native, Chance The Rapper, who tweeted his condolences to Jenkins' family and saying that "our sisters will be protected and justice will be served."
See Chance's tweet, and other responses to Jenkins' tragic death below.