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Teen from Chicago found dead in walk-in freezer at hotel

Source: Chicago Tribune / Getty

Chicago authorities have determined that Kenneka Jenkins‘ death in September was an accident.

The nation was shook when news that the 19-year-old Chicago girl had been found dead in a freezer last month. The story inspired internet sleuths to do some digging in an attempt to find out who may have killed her. The public grieved along with her mother, who believes there has been a coverup in Kenneka’s death. She has even led protests outside of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont where she found.

According to The Chicago Tribune, however, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Kenneka’s death was an accident. The office announced today that she ultimately died of hypothermia, but that drugs and alcohol did contribute to her demise.

The medical examiner’s toxicoloy report found that Kenneka had a 0.112 blood-alcohol level at the time of her death, which is above the legal limit of 0.08. Medical examinders also tests for a number of narcotics, medications, and chemical compounds to find out if she had been exposed to any date rape drugs. Reportedly, she had topiramate in her system.

Topiramate is a medication meant to treat epilepsy and migraines, but a statement from a Chicago morgue explained that it can intensify the symptoms of drunkeness, such as “dizziness, impaired memory, impaired concentration, poor coordination, confusion and impaired judgment.” Kenneka’s family said she did not have a prescription for topiramate when she ingested it.

Based on its findings, the morgue announced that it has ruled out any foul play in Kenneka’s death, stating:

“There is no evidence, per the police investigation, that Ms. Jenkins was forced to consume the alcohol or the drug. There is no evidence of another person in the vicinity of the kitchen with the decedent and there is no evidence of an altercation or interaction with another individual in the time immediately prior to demise. There was no other evidence of external or internal trauma due to physical abuse.”

It should be noted that the autopsy did mention that abrasions and contusions were found on Kenneka’s right leg.

In the days following the discovery of Kenneka’s body, police also released video of her wandering the halls of Crowne Plaza before her death. Although she is seen entering the kitchen in the videos, there is no footage of her walking into the freezer. Authorities inspected the freezer, which was set to 34 degrees, when Kenneka was found.

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