The mother of a 19-year-old woman who was found dead in a suburban Chicago hotel freezer says an activist who said the woman entered a walk-in freezer alone misrepresented the family.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Andrew Holmes, who has partnered with many police departments during his time as an anti-violence activist, told the news outlet that Rosemont detectives showed him video footage when he showed up seeking answers on behalf of the family Wednesday.
Holmes said the video shows the teen waiting in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel as her friends went back up to the room in which they had been partying to collect their things.
According to the activist, Jenkins is then seen taking an elevator to a lower level and wanders around, opening doors in a disoriented manner. Jenkins then opens two doors in a kitchen area and enters the walk-in freezer. The doors then close behind Jenkins, according to Holmes.
Holmes said he was convinced that no foul play was involved.
“The important part is we all wanted to know: Did anybody call her down there?” he said. “Did anybody force her down there? Was there anybody on the other side of the room when she got down there? And the answer to that is no.”
But Jenkins’ mother, Tereasa Martin said she was misrepresented by Holmes and the other activists who held a news conference outside of the Crowne Plaza where he announced his conclusions.
Rosemont police spokesman Det. Joe Balogh did not answer whether Holmes had been shown the video, but did thank him for his assistance “on behalf of the family and community pursuant to this investigation.”
He said the department released the surveillance video to Jenkins’ family, as well as the Cook County Medical Examiner. But Martin said that she has not seen the video, but was planning to review it with her attorney. There has yet to be a ruling on the cause and manner of Jenkins’ death.
Investigators have also interviewed several people who were at the hotel with Jenkins at some point during her disappearance.
Martin briefly took to Facebook Live Thursday to request that protesters keep their demonstrations peaceful. She also asked them to avoid portraying the incident as a “race thing, because it’s not.”
“It could be your child,” she said. “It could be a blue child, it could be a purple child. It doesn’t matter. This is a peaceful march.”