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Kenneka Jenkins' family blames hotel for teen's death, files $50M lawsuit

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The mother of Kenneka Jenkins, a 19-year-old who was found dead in a suburban Chicago hotel freezer in September 2017, is suing the hotel, its security company and the restaurant that may have been leasing the space where her body was discovered.

Jenkins was attending a party at a Rosemont hotel last year. Her body was found about 24 hours after family members contacted police and the hotel to report she was missing.

Surveillance video showed Jenkins wandering alone through a kitchen area near the freezer. Relatives and friends questioned whether she was the victim of foul play, but police said her death from hypothermia was an accident.

The autopsy determined the substantial factor in the death was cold exposure, and the alcohol and drug found in her system were capable of hastening the onset of hypothermia and death, the medical examiner's office said.

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Kenneka Jenkins CBS Chicago

The lawsuit claims the defendants were negligent because they didn't secure the walk-in freezer or conduct a proper search when Jenkins went missing.

A hotel spokesperson wasn't immediately available to comment Friday.