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Drunk teen found dead in Chicago hotel freezer

Kenneka JenkinsA 19-year-old teen from Chicago was found dead Sunday morning inside a hotel freezer at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont. Lack of urgency caused the body found late.

According to Martin and police, Jenkins left her house in the 2100 block of West Warren Boulevard around 11:30 p.m. Friday to attend a party with friends in a hotel room at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont.

Kenneka Jenkins was discovered after an hours-long search and was pronounced dead at 12:48 a.m. Sunday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Jenkins' mother, Tereasa Martin, said police told her Jenkins apparently let herself into the freezer while inebriated and died inside. Gary Mack, a spokesman for the village of Rosemont, said witnesses told police they saw Jenkins at a party on the ninth floor of the hotel.

Martin said her daughter's friends called her after 4 a.m. Saturday to say they had lost track of Jenkins in the hotel and left after they were unable to find her. Mom headed to the hotel around 5 a.m. Saturday to try to find her daughter. Hotel staff told her they needed a missing person’s report from police before they could start reviewing surveillance video of the premises.

Jenkins' older sister, Leonore Harris, filed a missing person’s report with Rosemont police later that morning, Mack said. Authorities notified the hotel about the missing teen around 1:15 p.m. Saturday. The 11-hour search for Jenkins included all public areas and the ninth floor, where she was last seen by witnesses, Mack said.

Around 10 p.m. Saturday, police told Jenkins' relatives they had spotted her on video from about 3:20 a.m. that day, "staggering" drunk near the front desk, according to Martin.

It was not clear who located Jenkins' body, but Mack said the hotel was doing some construction in the area where she was found. Martin said she was told the freezer Jenkins was in was turned on and cold but was not being used to store food.

Martin was angry about what she said was hotel workers' lack of urgency in the face of her pleas for help finding her daughter Saturday morning, directing her to the police rather than immediately reviewing hotel footage.

Source: Chicago Tribune