Will America Care About Kenneka Jenkins, a Black Teen Found Dead in A Freezer?

by Jessica Lane

September 12, 2017

Kenneka Jenkins will make headlines today and tomorrow, but will the press still publish her name next week? Will the American people still be demanding answers and forcing a tighter investigation? They better. Her face might be browner than the Natalee Holloway’s and the JonBenet Ramsey’s, but she deserves the same fury, same outrage and same commitment to bring her killers to justice. And Black Twitter is here to remind us that her story matters.

But before we talk about Black Twitter’s impact, let’s rundown the full story on Kenneka Jenkins…

The Jenkins family is still wondering why and how Kenneka Jenkins, 19, ended up dead on Sunday, September 10. Foul play looms over the mysterious death of the Chicago teen, whose body was discovered in an employee-only, walk-in freezer at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Jenkins left for a party on Sept. 8 and never returned home. Her ‘friends’ – and we’re using this term loosely – called her mother after 4 a.m. Saturday saying they lost track of her. Her mother immediately went to the hotel to look for her. After several hours of pressing the police, additional surveillance video was found and the search led to her body being found around 1 a.m. Sunday.

Black News outlets, celebrities and the Black Twitter community are covering this heartbreaking story and they’re asking the important questions the police seem to have no answers to. Take a look at just a few parts of this case that just don’t make sense:

  1. Her mother went to the hotel and the police late Friday night/early Saturday, yet the hotel search didn’t begin until 1p on Saturday
  2. Police initially told her mother, Tereasa Martin, she most likely walked herself into the freezer
  3. These so-called friends kept changing their story and their now-viral Facebook Live video looks highly suspicious

Black Twitter has spoken out and began their own armchair detective work, analyzing her friend’s Facebook Live video and identifying potential suspects. In the video — viewed more than 3 million views — another girl talks straight to camera in mirrored sunglasses. Viewers believe a scream can be heard around 3 minutes and it appears Kenneka can be seen in the video, reflected on the girl’s glasses. We applaud the social community for spreading awareness about this case and making forcing mainstream media to make this a priority. The question remains, how can we keep this case a priority? And, how do we push law enforcement to do everything they can to find this child’s killer?

SHARE WITH US: Leave your thoughts and prayers for Kenneka Jenkins and her family?