The teenager left her home at 11:30 p.m. to celebrate her new job with friends at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel and Conference Center on the ninth floor Friday night, but once the festivities began to wind down around 4 a.m., Jenkins was nowhere to be found.
Reaching out to the Rosemont Police Department, Martin was told to wait for a few hours — in case Jenkins turned up — before filing the report. With no sight of Jenkins, a report was then filed by the family.
Eleven hours into the search, Jenkins was found inside a freezer, but her mother doesn't believe she was by herself.
"I believe someone in this hotel killed my child," Martin said at a news conference. "[I'm] horrified. It's something that no one could ever imagine. It's unbelieveable."
According to the distraught mother, the family was told by police that surveillance footage showed the teenager "staggering" drunk as she walked away from the party, but Martin said it would've been impossible for Jenkins to have opened the freezer door by herself if she were really that intoxicated.
"The freezer door is heavy. So there's no way," Martin said. "If they're saying she's drunk, she don't have no strength. If she had enough strength to open that freezer door, she would have had enough strength to walk straight."
"Those were double steel doors, she didn't just pop them open," Martin added.
Though an autopsy was completed Sunday, the teen's cause and manner of death won't be determined until "further studies" are conducted.
In light of Martin's claims, the general manager of the hotel later released a statement on the news of Jenkins' death.
"We are saddened by this news, and our thoughts are with the young woman and her family during this difficult time."