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The ‘mysterious’ death of Kenneka Jenkins ruled accidental

But the sleuth theories haven't stopped

There's been misinformation, there's been hashtags, and there's been dodgily edited videos. But on Friday September 6, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office in Illinois ruled that the death of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins in a walk in freezer was accidental.

Kenneka's body was found in the freezer of the Crowne Plaza Chicago hotel on September 8, and her case quickly became the most extreme case of social media CSI the internet has ever seen.

After partying in a room at the hotel, Jenkins is said to have become separated from her friends who called the teen’s mother at 4am to inform her that they were leaving the hotel and had her daughter’s phone.

Police released CCTV footage of Jenkins stumbling through the hallway alone but none of the tapes showed how she died. This inflamed theorists who posited her death as being part of an ongoing lack of care that the US authorities have for black women.

While many of them decided that Kenneka had been attacked and murdered, on Friday the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said that the cause of her death was hypothermia.

But they also said that the combination of alcohol and topiramate – a prescription drug used to prevent migraines and to control seizures – was a significant contributing factor, as the alcohol and the drug can enhance each other.

Despite comprehensive toxicology tests, including to see if any “date rape drugs” were in her system, none were found.

According to The Chicago Tribune, court filings also revealed that attorneys for Jenkins' family conducted a private investigation of the 19-year-old's death and found no evidence of injury from a physical attack or sexual assault.

Interestingly however, it was found that the inside of the freezer door was equipped with a circular release mechanism.

Rosemont police said in a statement that “no sign of foul play appears to exist at this time”.