Wednesday, June 12, 2024
 October 7, 2023

Family reaches settlement after Chicago teen was found dead in freezer

A tragic incident in 2017 where a teen was found dead in a hotel freezer has led to a recent settlement between the victim’s mother and the hotel.

In a turn of events surrounding the tragic 2017 incident at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel, a woman has reached an undisclosed settlement against the hotel in connection with her daughter's unexpected death.

Kenneka Jenkins, a 19-year-old from Chicago, was attending a gathering at the Crowne Plaza Hotel when she disappeared. Her body was discovered almost a day later inside a walk-in freezer on the property. The question of how she ended up in the freezer and the circumstances leading to her death have been points of contention and speculation since the incident.

The lawsuit was originally for a staggering $50 million in damages. However, the exact details of the recent agreement have not been made public, as Jenkins' mother, Tereasa Martin, has requested that the court records be sealed, citing concerns for her privacy and safety.

Concerns surrounding the night of the tragedy

On the fateful night, friends last saw Jenkins on the ninth floor of the hotel. They informed Tereasa Martin around 4 a.m. that Jenkins had vanished. Oddly enough, while preparing to depart, her friends noticed she had left behind her phone and car keys in the room. After briefly leaving her in the hallway to retrieve her belongings, they returned to find her missing.

Tereasa Martin made attempts to locate her daughter at the hotel an hour after receiving the call. The hotel management, however, stated that she needed to file a missing persons report to view the property’s surveillance footage and advised her to wait a few more hours before alerting the police.

As reported by Essence, it took an additional 11 hours before the family was permitted to view the tapes. This delay triggered strong feelings of frustration and accusations of a “lack of urgency” by both the establishment and Rosemont police. The surveillance footage revealed Jenkins wandering near the vicinity of the walk-in freezer, appearing disoriented.

Though the Cook County medical examiner's office ruled the death accidental from hypothermia, they noted that alcohol intoxication combined with medications for epilepsy and migraines were significant contributors. But the mysterious circumstances surrounding the night raised several concerns.

Rosemont police under scrutiny

The village of Rosemont's spokesman, Gary Mack, empathized with the bereaved family's emotions but assured that the Rosemont police are among the best trained and most respected in the state of Illinois.

Nonetheless, many questions remain unanswered, and an investigation into the tragic incident continues, People reported.

She not only queries how her daughter ended up in a scarcely visited freezer near a construction site but also why there was a significant delay in searching for her.

Lessons to learn from this tragedy

  • Establishments should have stringent security measures: Especially in areas that can pose potential threats to guests' safety.
  • Timely response to emergencies can make a significant difference: Delays can sometimes lead to devastating consequences.
  • Surveillance footage can be crucial in such cases: immediate access can help expedite investigations.

Why this story resonates with many

The tragedy of Kenneka Jenkins isn’t just a news article but a heartrending reminder of the unpredictability of life. Such incidents shake communities and remind everyone of the fragility of life and the importance of safety. For parents, it's a nightmare scenario, provoking empathy and sorrow.

Furthermore, the cloud of mystery surrounding the incident, combined with the frustrations and delays experienced by the family, makes it a compelling story. It prompts individuals to question safety protocols and demand transparency and efficiency from establishments and authorities.

Lastly, the story is a harsh reminder of the importance of collective responsibility. Whether it's the friends who last saw Jenkins or the hotel staff, every action, or lack thereof, can have profound consequences.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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