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Some hotels now mandating 911 direct dialing

Texas man's call for help answered after daughter murdered in hotel room


SAN ANTONIO – Henry Hunt is pushing for a federal law that would require all hotels to have phone systems that would allow guests to direct dial 911.

His motivation is his granddaughter, who was unable to call for help from a hotel room as her mother was being murdered.

On Dec. 1, 2013, Hunt said his daughter Kari went to a Marshall, Texas hotel room to drop her three kids off with her estranged husband.

According to Hunt, Kari was pulled into the bathroom and stabbed repeatedly.

"What she was hearing was her mother being killed behind the bathroom door," Hunt said.

His then 9-year-old granddaughter tried franticly and repeatedly to dial 911.

Eventually help arrived, but not soon enough.

"She looked at me dead in the face and she said, 'Papa it wouldn't work. I tried, but it wouldn't work,'" Hunt said.

Within three weeks, Hunt had the attention of the Federal Communications Comission commissioner, asking for his help in getting hotels nationwide to have 911 direct dial.

Since then, Marriott has announced all 650 of its managed hotels and the majority of its franchise hotels now allow direct 911 dialing.

In addition, Suffolk County New York and the state of Illinois have passed legislation requiring 911 direct dialing.

Kari's story has also gotten the attention of Texas Sen. Kevin Eltife.

"It's a tragic situation, and we might could save lives in the future, so we want to look into it," Eltife said. "I will file legislation if legislation is needed, but I don't want to rush out and file something now. Let's get all the stakeholders together to find out the best way to solve the problem."

Hunt continues to spread the word through legislators, the FCC and his online petition because he feels a sense of responsibility to his granddaughter and all the children who are taught to dial 911 in an emergency.

If you want to sign the petition, visit change.org.