Dallasblack.com: Cook County Medical Examiners Release Autopsy Report And Details Kenneka Jenkins Official Cause of Death


Monday, October 09, 2017 9:59 AM

Cook County Medical Examiners Release Autopsy Report And Details Kenneka Jenkins Official Cause of Death

By: Monya Fleming

Cook County Medical Examiners Release Autopsy Report And Details Kenneka Jenkins Official Cause of Death

The death of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins was ruled an accident by Cook County medical examiners, after the teenager was found dead in the walk-in freezer of a Chicago hotel last month.

Jenkins left her home for a party Sept. 8, and went missing. Her mother, Tereasa Martin, demanded hotel staff search for her daughter. Kenneka's body was discovered in the hotel freezer of Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office determined the cause of Kenneka Jenkins’ death was caused by hypothermia, due to exposure in the hotel’s walk-in freezer. The medical examiner's office noted that the freezer Jenkins was found in was capable of getting to a temperature of 8 degrees.

In addition to freezing exposure, alcohol intoxication and the use of topiramate, a drug known for treating epilepsy and migraines were also said to be "contributing factors."

Kenneka's family stated that she had not been prescribed topiramate, but the level of the drug was within therapeutic range.
The office also found mucosal erosions, a type of lesion that indicated Jenkins had suffered from hypothermia. She also had an abrasion on her right ankle. The autopsy results showed her brain was swollen, but that finding does not indicate a specific cause of death, according to the autopsy report.

Toxicology tests detected alcohol and topiramate, an epilepsy/migraine medication, in Kenneka's system. Her blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.112, which is higher than the 0.08 BAC level that is considered as legally drunk for motorists in Illinois.

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, according to the examiner's office.

"Alcohol and topiramate are synergistic. When combined, the effect of either or both drugs is enhanced. Topiramate, like alcohol, can cause dizziness, impaired memory, impaired concentration, poor coordination, confusion and impaired judgment," the news release said. "Central nervous system depression, or impairment, combined with cold exposure can hasten the onset of hypothermia and death."

Last month, Jenkins’ mother spoke out and insisted that the delay in investigating her daughter’s death could have made a difference. 

"If they had taken me seriously and checked right away, they could have found my daughter much sooner and she might have been alive," Martin said.

Authorities believe that Jenkins walked into the freezer by accident. Surveillance video clips released of Jenkins wandering the hotel, including a kitchen area. Kenneka appeared disoriented. However, no video exists of Jenkins actually entering the freezer.

The autopsy found no evidence of an altercation with anyone before her death or any trauma due to abuse. 

Looked like a beautiful ceremony 💜 ________________________________________________________ #justiceforkenneka #justice4kenneka #kenneka #chicago #monifahshelton #kennekajenkins #teresamartin #crowneplaza

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