A Texas father has started a petition pushing for a federal law that would require hotels to have a 911 direct dial system.
On the afternoon of Dec. 1, Kari Hunt had taken her three kids to a Marshall hotel room for a visit with the husband she had left two weeks before.
"How he got her in the hotel room, I don't know, but once she was in there, he pulled her into the restroom," said Kari Hunt's father, Henry Hunt.
Kari was stabbed multiple times by her husband, identified as investigators as Brad Allen Dunn, as her three young children listened in horror on the other side of the door.
"What she was hearing was her mother being killed behind the bathroom door," Hunt said.
He also explained that his 9-year-old granddaughter tried to call 911 four times -- unsuccessfully.
"She looked me dead in the face and she said, 'Papa, it wouldn't work. I tried, but it wouldn't work,'" Hunt said.
Unable to dial 911 directly from the hotel phone, the girl ran down the hall for help and eventually 911 was called by a hotel neighbor.
"As adults, we shouldn't let that happen to those kids. We shouldn't let that happen to anybody," Hunt said.
Hunt started a petition to create a federal law that would require all hotels nationwide to have 911 direct-dial access.
He was hoping to get at least 100 signatures to take to his local congressman, but after only three weeks, he has already racked up 419,000 signatures and worldwide support.
He also got a letter from the Federal Communications Commission commissioner who, in two days time, sent out letters to the 10 largest hotel corporations in the country asking about their 911 systems and their plan to fix them if need be.
"I don't want a 9-year-old to go through that again," Hunt said.
San Antonio Hotel and Lodging Association Executive Director John Clamp has plans to bring the issue to the next board meeting.
"I think as an association, we would definitely encourage our hotel members to really look at the system and figure out how we can do that -- with or without the law," Clamp said.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association said Friday it will create a task force to develop recommendations to the 911 flaws Hank hopes to fix.
Association president, Katherine Lugar, said in a statement that the hotel industry understands the seriousness and importance of the issues raised. Since the issue imapcts other businesses as well, they are reaching out to organizations to work together to ensure it's addressed in a meaningful way across the board.
The city of San Antonio is finally implementing a long-term plan to submit hotel floor plans, including entrances, floors and codes, to the local fire department to facilitate easier access in an emergency.