Honoring the Legacy of MLK and one Local Omaha Woman - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

Honoring the Legacy of MLK and one Local Omaha Woman

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Shelley Russell

OMAHA (KPTM) – Monday marked a day of celebrating  Martin Luther King Jr. Omahans also took time to remember a woman who touched many.

During Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Creighton University, attendees also honored the legacy of a young Omaha woman, Karen Jenkins.

Jenkins went missing in October and was found days later, dead near 40th and Ames Avenue.

"Unfortunately, Karen's life was cut much too short," said longtime friend of Jenkins, Michele Millard. "She had a lot to share and a lot to give to the world."

Friends tell us that although her life was cut short last October, Jenkins shared nothing but kindness during her 48-years.

"I miss her smiling. I miss her insights. I miss how friendly she was with everyone she interacted with," said colleague and student of Jenkins, Catherine Brooks. "I miss her as a role model…I miss her as a friend."

Monday, the friend and role model who so many miss, was remembered and presented with the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award.

"I think she would be surprised. I think she would be amazed at it because she was a very humble person," said Millard.

Brooks added, "Karen was a very modest woman. She had the wonderful quality of humility, so I think she might have been a little shy about being honored, but I certainly think she would have deserved the honor."

Accepting the award on her sisters behalf was Cynthia Jenkins.

A standing ovation in the Mike and Josie Harper Center's Hixson-Lied Auditorium at Creighton proved the legacy Jenkins left behind, and the many lives she impacted during her years as a businesswoman and professor.

"I think she would go back to the words of Dr. King," Brooks said. "Karen was the epidemy of non-violence and seeking change in the world through non-violent action."

Two siblings have been arrested in connection with Jenkins' murder.

Nineteen-year old Gary Lee was arrested last month, along with his sister, 27-year old Monique Lee.

Prosecutors say Gary lured Jenkins into a vacant apartment before throwing her down on the ground. Police add that's when Monique strangled Jenkins with a cord.

Both siblings remain in jail without bond.

Prosecutors say they could face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted of Jenkins' murder.

The Lee's will be in court on January 25th.

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