It’s the tragedy that has everyone talking: a 19-year old Black girl was found dead in a Chicago hotel freezer, and the case was damn near ignored by police until public pressure and common sense forced them to investigate it properly.
A lot of the facts are still hazy, but here’s what we definitely know:
Kenneka Jenkins was out on a Friday night and was supposed to meet friends at a hotel room party. Jenkins' sister is the last person confirmed to have spoken to her, around 1:30am Saturday. By 5:00am Jenkins' mother was out searching for her, but not until 12:30am Sunday – over 24 hours later – was Jenkins' body found in the hotel freezer.
The cause of death is still undetermined, but there’s about a dozen sketchy AF pieces to all this. Jenkins' friends' stories seem to be continuously changing and inconsistent with one another. Hotel staff refused to let Jenkin’s mother see surveillance footage for hours and hours. Police also told the mother not to file a report until a ton of time had passed, which in turn kept her from seeing the footage & discovering where her daughter was until it was too late to do anything. According to her, “If they had taken me seriously and checked right away, they could have found my daughter much sooner and she might have been alive.”
Initially, police and the mother indicated that maybe Kenneka was simply drunk, got lost, and locked herself in the cold closet. But the authorities have since admitted that probably wasn’t how it went down, and Jenkins' mom put it more bluntly: “I believe someone in this hotel killed my child.”
The case has become something of a phenomenon on Twitter, with everyone from celebrities to amateur investigators chiming in on the incident, and no one's being shy about pointing out the undertones of the authorities’ indifference.