The family of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins, whose body was discovered in a walk-freezer at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, has settled the lawsuit stemming from her tragic 2017 death.
Blavity reported that Jenkins was found dead in the hotel’s walk-in freezer in the early hours of Sunday, Sept. 11, 2017. She went to the establishment that Friday with her friends and attended a private party on the ninth floor. Since then, family and friends have questioned what happened to the young woman and if foul play was a factor in the incident.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Jenkins’ death as undetermined. According to CBS News, she died from hypothermia after exposure to frigid temperatures. Further reports mentioned Jenkins had alcohol and topiramate, an epilepsy/migraine medication, in her system that likely contributed to her death.
A year later, Jenkins’ mother, Teresa Martin, filed a $50 million lawsuit against the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel, its third-party security system and the restaurant that operated the kitchen’s freezer. The grieving mother argued the establishment should have conducted a thorough search of the young woman after being reported missing.
According to reports, no other staff members were on security footage walking in and out of the walk-in freezer or the kitchen until they found Jenkins’ body. At the time, her mother said the hotel was withholding information surrounding her daughter’s death.
“I feel like I was seeking answers that I have not received until now,” Martin told WGN TV.
The Cook County Circuit Court records stated both sides had agreed to settle the lawsuit in August. However, Martin has actively tried to keep the details of the settlement confidential and remained sealed to the public.
“The widespread publicity of this case, including uncontrolled speculation and social media commentary, has resulted in various threats made against various individuals in the case,” Martin’s attorneys wrote. “One of the main terms of the settlement for all parties was maintaining the confidentiality of the settlement.”