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Did 19 Year Old Kenneka Jenkins walk into a freezer after a party at the Crowne Plaza?

Five days after the shocking death of this teenager investigation reports still leaves a lot left to be answered for her family.

 

Police have released hotel surveillance video showing Kenneka Jenkins's last known footsteps through a Crowne Plaza outside Chicago last weekend, when the teen staggered in the early morning hours through empty halls and a deserted kitchen - toward the freezer she would be found dead inside nearly 24 hours later.

The video was released Friday, as Rosemont police announced they had interviewed more than two dozen people in the case. It doesn't explain how the 19-year-old died. Nor has its release satisfied Jenkins' family, who have accused police and hotel staff of wasting hours that might have saved her life.

But the footage helps stitch together the most complete timeline yet of what happened in the hotel on Sept. 9 - a day that began with a crowded party in an upper-floor room and ended with a grim discovery in the kitchen.

 

On Thursday, Chicago crisis responder Andrew Holmes tried to help shed some light on the 19-year-old Chicago woman's mysterious death.

 

Jenkins was found dead inside the freezer early Sunday after attending a party at the Crowne Plaza in Rosemont. Her family previously said she went to a party at the hotel with friends late Friday night. Her friends called family members Saturday morning to say they couldn't find her.

 

Holmes said he watched hotel surveillance video that shows Jenkins walking, on her own, into the freezer. She appeared to be trying to find her way back upstairs to the hotel lobby, trying different doors, Holmes said.

 

Here is a portion of what has been confirmed from the investigation timeline.

Thursday, Sept. 7 (two days before the death)

 

Surveillance footage shows unnamed people walking into the lobby of the Crowne Plaza, near Chicago O'Hare International Airport, and speaking with someone at the front desk.

In a statement accompanying the video's release, Rosemont police said the party, set for Saturday, was booked by two people using a stolen identity and a fraudulent credit card. Police are now investigating the fraud - along with the tragic events from the night of the party.

 


Saturday, Sept. 9, about 1:15 a.m.

In a blue jacket and tailor-ripped jeans, Jenkins walks single-file with three other women through what surveillance footage labels as the hotel's entry hall - apparently on their way to a party on a floor above.

Police are now studying social-media videos that appear to have been made at that party. One posted to Facebook appears to show Jenkins listening to music in the room. Police said more than 30 people were at the party, about half of whom have since been identified and interviewed, while the rest are being sought.

Jenkins was last seen on the Crowne Plaza's ninth floor, witnesses told police. The teen's mother told reporters that her friends said they left Jenkins alone in the hall to retrieve her car keys and phone from a room and never saw her again.

Saturday, about 3:24 a.m.

Jenkins emerges from an elevator - alone now, and barely able to balance herself. She slams against the wall, then rights herself and passes beneath the surveillance camera.

About two minutes later, the elevator doors open again, but there is no one there to get on.

Saturday, about 3:30 a.m.

Jenkins staggers through halls with no one else in sight, pausing to rest against a wall at one point, and a few minutes later nearly falling over a railing at the bottom of a staircase.

She looks to be lost - wandering down a hall only to reappear on the camera a minute later; going into a room, then coming back out; and finally returning the way she came.

 
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