Editor’s note: This story has been updated with information from the Evanston and Chicago police departments.

The Evanston Police Department Monday afternoon identified Nyasia Jennings, a 15-year-old girl from Chicago, as the person found dead at the Holiday Inn on Sherman Avenue this weekend.

The EPD, along with the Evanston Fire Department, responded to a call from the hotel on Saturday, Dec. 10 about a possible dead body in a sixth-floor room. First responders recovered Jennings’ body, and EPD launched a death investigation.

“Jennings had been reported as a missing runaway prior to her death,” EPD said in a Monday news release. “The medical examiner’s determination of manner and cause of death are pending toxicology.”

EPD Commander Ryan Glew told the RoundTable late Monday that the death investigation revealed the missing person report involving Jennings. Glew did not know who made the report or how long ago, and the Chicago Police Department said it did “not have a missing persons flier for” Jennings.

The Holiday Inn Chicago North-Evanston at 1501 Sherman Ave.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services did not immediately respond to calls from the RoundTable on Monday night.

Preliminary information from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office only revealed that Jennings’ death was not related to heat, cold or COVID-19 illness. Glew said EPD has no comment on potential foul play pending further investigation and the results of the medical examiner’s autopsy, though there appears to be no threat or danger to the general public related to Jennings’ death.

EPD is asking for help from the public with any information about the circumstances of Jennings’ death. Contact the Evanston Police Detective Bureau at 847-866-5040 or Text-A-Tip to CRIMES (274637) and then start your message with EPDTIP.

Read previous coverage: Police and medical examiner investigating death at local hotel

Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...

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  1. This death is troubling in many ways. I thought that the minimum check-in age at the Holiday Inn is 21. I thought that ID could be required to verify certain requirements, such as age, identity, and so forth.