Detectives investigate death of woman found in hotel freezer


The 19-year-old had been at a birthday party on the ninth floor of the hotel Friday night. She attended a party at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont and went missing in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The freezer, which was not being used to store food, was located in a building area of the hotel.

While searching the hotel, staff found Jenkins in a freezer at around 12:24 a.m. Sunday.

Jenkins' mother, Tereasa Martin, suspected foul play in the death of her daughter.

Mack, the Rosemont spokesman, told the Tribune that police were not now disclosing who found the body and whether there were any signs of trauma.

Steven Shapiro, director of the hospitality and tourism law program at American University's Washington College of Law, said hotel managers are reluctant to intrude upon their guests' privacy, even when someone from the outside indicates there might be an emergency.

An exit button inside the freezer was supposed to allow people to open the door if it shut behind them, but authorities found it sometimes malfunctioned, The Associated Press reported. The hotel called police on them for disturbing the peace.

"My goal is to find out exactly what happened to my daughter", Martin said.

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"I believe someone in this hotel killed my child", Martin told WGNTV. "She was holding on to the wall", Martin said.

"'We do see your daughter again on this camera, '" Martin said police told her. It's unclear whether she tried to get out, but her family has their doubts.

Martin said she knows her daughter attended a party in a room there Friday night with a group of friends, but the friends, whose stories she says have changed quite a bit since that night, came back home the next morning with Jenkins's vehicle and cell phone but not Jenkins.

Although Martin went to the hotel and asked employees to immediately search any surveillance video, she said they told her they couldn't do that without a missing person's report. According to the Tribune, investigators said they have identified most of the people in the clip-which has been shared more than 50,000 times and has been viewed more than 4 million times. Viewers of the Facebook Live believe that, at about the 3-minute mark, a scream can be heard. Figures can be seen reflected in her lenses at times in the video, including a woman who may be be Jenkins.

"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 night", said Mack.

An autopsy conducted Sunday ruled that Jenkins' cause of death was pending further studies, according to the medical examiner's office, and an investigation into Jenkins' death remained ongoing.

While police continue to investigate her death, new questions surrounding her death have surfaced including a new petition from friends and family demanding answers.