CHICAGO (CBS) — Kenneka Jenkins’ mysterious death took another twist Friday, as attorneys representing her family disagreed that video released by Rosemont police actually shows the 19-year-old woman walking into the hotel freezer where her body was found.
Police, meanwhile, publicly shared portions of raw surveillance video that includes footage of Jenkins walking alone at Crowne Plaza and through a deserted kitchen, entering an area (off-camera) that others have said includes the walk-in freezer.
“I want to see her, literally, actually walking into this freezer,” Tereasa Martin, Jenkins’ mother, said at a news conference with her attorneys.
“There has to be an answer to how that happened,” one of the attorneys, Sam Adam Jr., said. “Better yet, there has to be an answer to why that happened.”
Attorneys say they have asked police for 36 hours of surveillance video, but add they’ve only received excerpts. Police said they expected to make the complete video available Thursday night.
“Each day since the start of this investigation, the Rosemont Public Safety Department has been in contact with Tereasa Martin (or by requests, her attorney),” police said in a news release issued Friday evening. “We would like to reiterate that Tereasa Martin is welcome to speak with detectives regarding any questions she may have about the investigation or review any surveillance footage from the hotel.”
Jenkins was found dead inside a walk-in freezer at the hotel early Sunday, after attending a party at the Crowne Plaza. 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.
Attorneys for Martin, the mother, have questions about the way the hotel reacted when she called asking for help.
Thursday night, community activist Andrew Holmes described the video showing 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.
“We all wanted to know: Did anybody pull her down there? Did anybody force her down there? Was anybody on the other side in that room when she got down there? And the answer to that is no,” Holmes said. “She walked into that unsecured area that should have been secured.”
After news of the death broke, a social-media firestorm erupted, with some people suggesting Jenkins fell victim to foul play.
The family said they went to the hotel at 5 a.m. Saturday to find her, but the hotel wouldn’t review surveillance video without a missing person report.
Police said the family filed a report that morning, and officers notified the hotel about the missing teen around 1:15 p.m. Saturday, prompting a search of the hotel. Jenkins’ relatives showed up at the hotel around 6 p.m. Saturday and knocking on room doors to ask if any guests had seen her.
Around 12:30 a.m., Jenkins was found dead in a walk-in freezer in a vacant section of the hotel, more than 24 hours after her family last saw her alive.
Authorities have said Jenkins was seen on surveillance video staggering drunk near the front desk of the hotel around 3:20 a.m. Saturday, but the family said they were not told about that video until late Saturday night, and they don’t believe police began reviewing surveillance video until Saturday afternoon.