Last foot­steps of teen dead in freezer

The New Zealand Herald - - WORLD -

US po­lice have re­leased ho­tel sur­veil­lance video show­ing Ken­neka Jenkins’s last known foot­steps through a Crowne Plaza out­side Chicago last week­end, when the teen stag­gered in the early morn­ing hours through empty halls and a de­serted kitchen — to­wards the freezer she would be found dead in­side nearly 24 hours later.

Rose­mont po­lice an­nounced they had in­ter­viewed more than two dozen peo­ple in the case. It doesn’t ex­plain how the 19-year-old died. Nor has its re­lease sat­is­fied Jenkins’ fam­ily, who have ac­cused po­lice and ho­tel staff of wast­ing hours that might have saved her life.

But the footage helps stitch to­gether the most com­plete time­line yet of what hap­pened in the ho­tel on Septem­ber 10 — a day that be­gan with a crowded party in an up­per-floor room and ended with a grim dis­cov­ery in the kitchen.

Two days be­fore the death footage shows un­named peo­ple walk­ing into the lobby of the Crowne Plaza, near Chicago O’Hare In­ter­na­tional Air­port, and speak­ing with some­one at the front desk. In a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the video’s re­lease, po­lice said the party was booked by two peo­ple us­ing a stolen iden­tity and a fraud­u­lent credit card. Jenkins is shown with three other women ap­par­ently on their way to a party on a floor above.

Po­lice are now study­ing so­cial­me­dia videos that ap­pear to have been made at that party. One posted to Face­book ap­pears to show Jenkins lis­ten­ing to mu­sic in the room. Po­lice said more than 30 peo­ple were at the party, about half of whom have since been iden­ti­fied and in­ter­viewed, while the rest are be­ing sought.

Jenkins was last seen on the Crowne Plaza’s ninth floor. The teen’s mother told re­porters that her friends said they left her alone in the hall to re­trieve her car keys and phone from a room and never saw her again.

Jenkins is shown on videostag­ger­ing through halls with no one else in sight. She makes her way into an empty kitchen. Po­lice said they took a miss­ing-per­son re­port, but the first at­tempts to find Jenkins failed. The fam­ily’s lawyers blame au­thor­i­ties for ig­nor­ing early pleas for help.

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