Chicago teen found dead inside hotel’s walk-in freezer

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Hotel employees found the body of a missing 19-year-old Chicago woman Sunday inside a suburban hotel's freezer.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office says Kenneka Jenkins was pronounced dead at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont. It says her cause of death is not yet confirmed although an autopsy has been completed.

Jenkins was celebrating her new job at a nursing home when she went missing, PIX11 sister station WGN reports.

Friends called Jenkins mother saying they could not find the teen, WGN reports. The hotel referred the mother to police, but Martin says 911 dispatchers told her to wait a few more hours because her daughter could be out with other friends.

"We were begging for help, and no one was helping," Tereasa Martin said.

Rosemont police say hotel staff discovered Jenkins inside the walk-in freezer. They say she was last seen at a party at the hotel early Saturday morning. She was reported missing Saturday afternoon.

The woman's mother told the Chicago Tribune that police told her Jenkins apparently let herself into the freezer while drunk.

Martin said that if her daughter was drunk, she would have had difficulty opening the heavy freezer doors and would've realized she wasn't entering an elevator or the hotel entrance.

"I believe someone in this hotel killed my child," Martin told WGN.