The mother and sister of Kenneka Jenkins, the young woman from Chicago found dead in a Rosemont hotel freezer, are scheduled to appear on “The Dr. Oz Show” on Tuesday to talk about the case.
A news release sent by the nationally syndicated show cites the emergence of “explosive new details” and poses the questions, “Was there a cover-up?”
Jenkins, 19, was found dead in a Rosemont hotel freezer Sept. 10 after going missing about 20 hours earlier from a party in a ninth-floor room. The Cook County medical examiner’s office and Rosemont police both determined that Jenkins’ death was an accident, that she died of exposure to cold, with alcohol and prescription medication contributing factors. Surveillance video showed her staggering drunkenly through the kitchen before apparently entering the freezer just out of camera view.
“There is no evidence that indicates any other conclusion” besides an accidental death, police said.
In clips released of the pre-recorded “Dr. Oz” episode, called “What Killed the Girl in the Freezer?” and part of the “True Crime Tuesday” series, the host and fellow presenter Nancy Grace are seated on a couch with Jenkins’ mother Tereasa Martin and sister Leonore Harris. Martin describes how she had to stay calm while searching for her daughter because “I knew something was going on with her. I needed help.”
The family also again expresses frustration with the initial response of staff members at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel.
“She went to the front counter of that hotel asking for help and it was all ignored,” says Larry Rogers Jr., a family attorney also present.
Harris and Martin note that hotel staff called police after family members and friends began searching the hotel themselves. Martin said members of the group knocked on hotel room doors, and one pulled a fire alarm, thinking it would draw people out of their rooms so they could ask them about Jenkins.
“They came to arrest us,” Harris says of the police, though the family adds that no arrests were made.
The episode is due to air at 1 p.m. Tuesday on Fox 32 Chicago.
It won’t likely be the last time the Jenkins case is the subject of a national TV segment. Other networks and TV documentarians have also indicated interest in producing work about the Jenkins case.