Kaneka Jenkins death has been officially ruled an accident after the 19-year-old was found dead in a walk-in freezer Sept. 10 at Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont.
Cook County medical examiners say the death was an accident, with intoxication from alcohol and medication being contributing factors, reports CBS Chicago.
Jenkins died from hypothermia after being exposed to conditions of the walk-in freezer, the Medical Examiner’s Office said in a news release issued Friday.
Toxicology tests detected alcohol and topiramate, an epilepsy/migraine medication, in the woman’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 coroner’s office said.
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, the medical examiner’s office found.
Jenkins did not have a prescription for the topiramate medication, her family reportedly told investigators. The amount of the drug in her system was in the “therapeutic range,” the coroner’s office said.
“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.”