Cook County medical examiners have released the autopsy report that provides some insight into Kenneka Jenkins’ cause of death on Sunday, Sept. 10 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, IL, CBS Chicago reports.
Medical examiners rule Jenkins’ death to be an accident, saying intoxication from alcohol and medication were contributing factors. Surveillance footage shows Jenkins stumbling through the hotel hallways before walking in the kitchen and locking herself in a walk-in freezer, where she died from hypothermia.
Jenkins had a high level of alcohol and topiramate, an epilepsy/migraine medication, in her system, according to toxicology tests. Her blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was .112, which is higher than the .08 BAC level that is considered as legally drunk for motorists in Illinois.
Jenkins did not have a prescription for the topiramate medication, her family told investigators. Medical examiners say the amount of the drug in her system was in the “therapeutic range.”
“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,” according to a statement by the coroner’s office. “Central nervous system depression, or impairment, combined with cold exposure can hasten the onset of hypothermia and death.”
Last month, activist Andrew Holmes posted a video detailing the contents of surveillance footage members of the Chicago Police Department showed him.
“She got off the elevator. I can see where she was staggering,” Holmes said. “She walked back there, and as she went inside that door, she opened up. It’s just like a big steel door. It don’t take much to open it. You open up that door. You take one-half a step, to your right is another door to another freezer part. She had to open up that door to go inside of there. Mainly tryna find her way back to the lobby. She was impaired. We don’t know what’s in the toxicology. The door closed and the other door closed. It’s dark in the freezer room, so she probably got scared. Tried to find her way to push that door out. But there was a safety knob you can touch and the door will open.”