Kenneka Jenkins’ Death Photos Cause More Speculation
Two weeks after the medical examiner’s office ruled Kenneka Jenkins‘ death was accidental, police have released disturbing postmortem photos that are raising even more questions about the circumstances surrounding her death.
The 19-year-old’s body was found in the freezer of a Rosemont hotel freezer after she was there partying with friends.
The medical examiner’s report states she died of hypothermia as a result of being in the hotel’s walk-in freezer. Alcohol intoxication and drugs used for treating epilepsy and migraines were “significant contributing factors” in her death.
Kenneka’s death photos, which have been making their rounds on social media, show the young woman’s breasts partially exposed. Her pants, which were covered in dirt, are slightly pulled down, and her sneaker was off of her bloodied right foot.
Her mother, Tereasa Martin, called them “graphic and disturbing images (that) inexplicably show portions of Kenneka’s body exposed.”
Many feel the photos are a clear indication of sexual assault and the missing shoe is a sign of her fighting for her life. However, the police announced on Friday that they are officially closing the case.
Via the Chicago Tribune:
The release from Adam and Martin’s other attorney, Larry Rogers Jr., said the photos were “of a personal, private and indecent nature.”
Jenkins, 19, was found dead in a Rosemont hotel freezer Sept. 10, about 21 hours after she went missing following a party she attended in a ninth-floor room.
According to Rosemont police reports, she was found on her side, face down, with her left arm underneath her, her right shoe off and a small cut on her right foot.
The photographs show that Jenkins was still wearing the jeans and jean jacket shown in surveillance videos of her walking through the hotel before her death, but the shirt beneath her jacket “was pulled up exposing her breasts,” a police report said.
“Frankly, the photos depicting how Kenneka was found raise more questions about what happened to Kenneka Jenkins than they answer,” Rogers said in the news release.
Scientists who have studied hypothermia have described a phenomenon known as “paradoxical undressing,” in which people freezing to death remove their clothing.
“It is concluded that paradoxical undressing might be explained by changes in peripheral vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels supplying the extremities) in the deeply hypothermic person,” scientists wrote in a 1979 journal article. “It represents the last effort of the victim and is followed almost immediately by unconsciousness and death.”
In announcing in a press release Friday evening that they’ve closed the case, Rosemont police outlined the scope of their investigation and said they found no evidence that Jenkins was the victim of foul play — contrary to the many conspiracy theories that have sprouted on social media.
“Our detective reported no signs of foul play throughout the whole investigation,” said a statement from Police Chief Donald Stephens III. “There is no evidence that Ms. Jenkins was forced to drink alcohol or consume any narcotics while at the hotel.”
The statement added: “While there were many theories, rumors and much speculation floating around social media regarding the death of Ms. Jenkins, none were supported with facts. While all leads and theories were investigated by our department, what we have reported throughout the investigation and again, today, are facts.”