Chicago community activist said Thursday that surveillance video from a Rosemont hotel shows Kenneka Jenkins entering a walk-in freezer alone.
Rew Holmes, who has worked with many police agencies during his years of anti-violence activism, told the Tribune that Rosemont detectives showed him the video Wednesday when he showed up seeking answers on behalf of the family.
He said the video shows Jenkins, 19, waiting in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel after her friends apparently went up to the room in which they had been partying to retrieve some possessions.
Jenkins then takes the elevator to a lower level and wanders around, opening doors in an apparently disoriented manner, he said.
Finally, he said, Jenkins opens two doors in a kitchen area and enters the walk-in freezer.
The doors close behind her and Jenkins is seen no more, he said.
Holmes said he was convinced no one else forced Jenkins into the area where she died.
Martin told a Tribune reporter Thursday that she has not seen the video but was planning to review it with her attorney, Larry Rogers, a prominent personal injury lawyer in Chicago.
Authorities say Jenkins went to a party at the Crowne Plaza Friday night, and that she went missing early Saturday morning.
Martin came to look for her, but said hotel staff and Rosemont police declined to search for hours.
Jenkins was finally found in the walk-in freezer and pronounced dead just before 1 a.m. Sunday.
Jenkins’ death became the focus of fevered online conjecture, with thousands of people using Facebook videos evidently taken at the hotel room party to spin theories about what happened.
Community activists seized upon the case after Martin complained about what she believed was a lack of urgency in the initial response by the hotel and police.
“It’s gotten so far out there it’s taken on a life of its own.” A spokesman for the Crowne Plaza said Thursday that the hotel has offered to pay for Jenkins’ funeral.
SOURCE: CHICAGO TRIBUNE