Family, friends, and community members gathered Saturday to say their final goodbyes to Kenneka Jenkins. The mourners strode past the open casket donned in purple flowers with a bouquet that simply spelled “NEKA” in purple flowers. The Chicago Tribune reports, many of the mourners wore purple, Jenkins’ favorite color, as a show of love, while others wore shirts with pictures of her along with the message “Justice for Kenneka.”

Jenkins funeral comes three weeks after she was reported missing when she didn’t return from a hotel party at Crown Plaza in suburban Chicago. Kenneka would be found nearly 24 hours later after pleas to the police and hotel from her family. Surveillance videos released by police days later show Jenkins wandering alone through a kitchen area near the freezer not long after she disappeared.

The initial lack of evidence lead to activists and internet conspiracy theorists questioning the circumstances surrounding Kenneka Jenkin’s death – claiming foul play might have played a hand in her death. A number of videos on social media, appearing to show the party and some of Jenkins’ friends, has led to speculation that Jenkins was attacked, which eventually led to protests outside the hotel.

Despite the attention, church staff try to create a safe space for Jenkin’s family and friends, to grieve, and mourn.

“We are not here to solve anything,” House of Hope pastor and former state legislator the Rev. James Meeks told the audience. Church staff, at the request of the family, went as far as to monitor social media and called out users to make sure that no one was livestreaming the services.

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Minister Andre Williams, who eulogized Jenkins, praised her mother for her personal strength in recent weeks, even comparing her to the Old Testament’s Job. Weeks before her daughter’s death, Teresa Martin underwent a double mastectomy, according to her attorneys.

“You’re looking at Job sitting in the audience,” Williams said as he pointing toward Martin, to loud applause from mourners.

As she left the service, mourner Denise Mitchell said she was heartened by the rousing service.

“I’m glad that it was a nice, peaceful ceremony. It was beautiful. The family seemed like they were uplifted … that’s good,” Mitchell said.

“Now,” she added, “if we could just get all of this solved.

Source : Chicago Tribune

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