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Report: New details undermine conspiracies in Kenneka Jenkins’ death

Kenneka Jenkins

Kenneka Jenkins | Facebook photo

After Chicago teen Kenneka Jenkins was found dead in a kitchen freezer at a Rosemont hotel, social media exploded with all sorts of theories and accusations about how she died.

Autopsy results indicating the 19-year-old died of hypothermia, and showing no signs of foul play, did little to quell some online commentators who insisted authorities were covering something up.

Now, a published report indicates police looked into some of those conspiracy theories — to no avail.

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Jenkins left her home near the United Center at 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 8 to go to the Crowne Plaza O’Hare Hotel, according to Rosemont Police. Jenkins’ sister last heard from her via text message about 1:30 a.m. Sept. 9.

According to the recently released reports, Jenkins went to a party in Room 926. Videos from that party posted online only added to the speculation.

Police reports obtained by the Chicago Tribune show police tried to track down people identified in social media posts as being involved in Jenkins’ death. They also looked into some of the rumors, such as whether Jenkins was killed for $200 or whether someone could be heard in the background on one vide saying “help me.”

In the reports, one of Jenkins’ friends told officers the $200 figure referred to the fine for parking at the hotel without a valid ticket. And the “help me” was on a Chief Keef video playing in the background at the party, the friend said.

Those reports indicated the social media firestorm had led to death threats against some of Jenkins’ friends who were at the party. One told officers she had moved out of the city to avoid the harassment from people who thought she had something to do with Jenkins’ death.

Also revealed in the new documents is that, according to officers, Jenkins’ mother twice declined police requests to have her daughter’s cellphone analyzed.

Several people told police Jenkins was drinking but did not smoke marijuana or take any other drugs; that would concur with the autopsy, which did not indicate any drugs in her system. Her blood-alcohol content, however, did exceed the legal limit for driving.

Protesters who claim there was foul play in Kenneka Jenkins’ death marched down River Road near the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont in September. | Network Video Productions