Sanders Calls for Nationwide Expansion of NYS Missing Person's Law Following Chicago Teen's Freezer Death

James Sanders Jr.

September 18, 2017

Kenneka Jenkins may have benefited from stricter missing persons laws.

Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway), is calling for the nationwide expansion of Lamont Dottin's Law, following the tragic death of a missing Chicago teen who was found dead inside a hotel freezer.

Kenneka Jenkins, 19, was discovered early Sunday, September 9, after attending a party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont. The young woman's mother reported her missing later that day. It is still unclear whether she walked into the freezer and the door closed behind her or whether foul play is involved.

If the state of Illinois had legislation similar to Lamont Dottin's Law, which exists in New York, it is possible Jenkins may have been found sooner. 

Lamont Dottin's Law was introduced in the senate by Senator Sanders and signed into law by Governor Cuomo last year. It requires police to submit reports of missing adults to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database when the adult has a proven disability, may be in physical danger, is missing after a catastrophe, may have disappeared involuntarily or is missing under circumstances where there is a reasonable concern for his or her safety.

"This legislation should be adopted nationwide because it could potentially save lives and prevent future heartache for the families of loved ones who go missing," Senator Sanders said. "Having police agencies file an electronic report within 24 hours of a person’s disappearance, not only for children and the elderly, but all people, is a common sense safety measure that would positively impact residents across the country."