CHICAGO -- (WGN) -- The Cook County Medical Examiner ruled the death of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins an accident caused by cold exposure after she entered a walk-in freezer in a Rosemont hotel, according to a statement released Friday.
The medical examiner said intoxication caused by alcohol and topiramate, a medication used for epilepsy and migraines, were “significant contributing factors” in her death. Her blood alcohol concentration was 0.112, which is higher than the 0.08 BAC typically used to rule if an individual is too drunk to drive. The medical examiner said the amount of topiramate in her system was within prescription levels, but Jenkins was not prescribed the drug.
“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 medical examiner said in the statement.
Surveillance footage released by police shows Jenkins left a party on the ninth floor of the Crown Plaza Hotel in Rosemont in the early hours of Sept. 9, but she is not seen entering the freezer because no cameras were pointed in its direction. According to the ME, she entered the hotel's kitchen around 3:30 a.m. Her body was discovered about 21 hours later after family members contacted the hotel and reported her as missing to police.
“Today's Cook County Medical Examiner report, which found the young woman died accidentally, must be confusing and difficult for all who knew her. Her death has stunned our company and saddened employees,” a spokesperson for the hotel said in a statement Friday.
Numerous conspiracy theories have been floating around on social media about the teen's death. The ME said there was no evidence of foul play.