Police in Chicago investigating the death of a teenager found in a hotel walk-in freezer have turned their attentions to a video posted on social media hours before she disappeared.
Kenneka Jenkins, 19, was found dead in a freezer at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel & Conference Center nearly 24 hours after going missing. Investigators, who have been looking at surveillance video and questioning potential witnesses, have not said how the Jenkins died or why she was in the freezer, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Authorities are reportedly reviewing a Facebook Live video that appears to show Jenkins sitting on a hotel bed with others around her, Rosemont spokesman Gary Mack said. The widely-watched video, with more than 3m views, shows a woman in mirrored sunglasses talking to the camera.
Jenkins, who can be seen reflected in the woman's glasses, appears to be sitting on the other side of the hotel room. Police have managed to identify most of the people in the video.
"Yes, they've looked at it and continue to look at it and all the other social media videos and posts," Mack told the Tribune. "They are leaving no stone unturned as far as trying to corral everyone they can and talk to them and interview them about what happened and what was going on that might."
The Tribune reported that the video has caused outrage on social media, with some threatening harm to those seen in the room.
The teenager's mother, Tereasa Martin, told the Tribune she last saw her daughter Friday (8 September) night at their home before Jenkins left for a party. Jenkin's sister, meanwhile, said she last spoke to her around 1.30am Saturday (9 September), around the time she disappeared.
According to the Tribune, Jenkin's body was not found until nearly 24 hours later after her family contacted both the hotel and police. The medical examiner's office said she was pronounced dead on the scene at 12.48am Sunday (10 September).
Martin said police told her that her daughter walked into the freezer while drunk and died inside. The grieving mother, however, said she does not believe that story. "I believe someone in this hotel killed my child," she told reporters.
An autopsy conducted Sunday failed to determine a cause of death, and the medical examiner's office is awaiting toxicology tests.
Toxicology tests can typically take weeks or months to finish, as can police investigations, Mack noted. "I don't think anything has been ruled in or ruled out at this point," he said. "It's just considered a death investigation at this point."
The Tribune also reported that it is unclear how Jenkins was found and who discovered her body. Mack said he did not know whether surveillance video led to Jenkins' body.
"As far as who found the girl's body, they're not saying on that," Mack said. "That's something that's part of the investigation and they're not releasing." Mack noted that investigators are also not saying whether Jenkins' body showed any signs of trauma.