A local father calls for change after his daughter is murdered in a motel room. Henry “Hank” Hunt said the phone system made it difficult for his grandchildren to call 911.
Henry Hunt has started a petition on Change.org on Dec. 19. (http://www.change.org/karislaw)
It asks lawmakers to pass a law requiring businesses to change the number used to make outside calls. That way, when someone calls 911, it goes directly to a dispatcher.
"We want every building, every hotel, whatever to have that ability, to grab a phone and say 911 and you're there,” said Dalonna Hunt, Kari’s stepmother.
The petition also requests lawmakers to mandate all public buildings to use the Enhanced 911 system, so when someone calls 911 from a hotel, the dispatcher learns the address, floor and room number. Now, the petition has nearly 200,000 signatures. It gained more than 100,000 signatures Sunday, after actress Lindsey Shaw tweeted the petition.
"We want to get the attention of Congress. The more the better,” said the Hunts.
Police believe Kari Hunt Dunn, was killed by her estranged husband Brad Dunn. Kari was stabbed to death in the Baymont Inn in Marshall, TX on Dec. 1. The gruesome murder happened in front of their three young children. The oldest tried to call 911, but didn’t know she needed to dial 9 first.
"I feel like it was our fault,” said Henry Hunt. “Society's fault. We got to get it taken care of. "
Eventually, the guest in the room next door dialed 911 and emergency crews arrived. By that time, Kari was unconscious, and Brad Dunn was on the run with the second child. Thanks to an Amber alert, the child was returned unharmed and he was put in jail.
The petition is addressed to U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R-TX Dist. 1). He’s aware of it and hoping to find a solution soon so he can introduce a bill in 2014.
"We're doing research to figure out how it could be done with the least expense and the least amount of heart ache for businesses,” said Rep. Gohmert. “I’m convinced there has to be a way to do this. My job is being a public servant so when the public is asking for help, that's my job so I want to help."
He’s looking for a way for companies to reprogram their phones, so they won’t have to buy new phone systems, which he said could be costly for small businesses.
The Baymont Inn is a franchise of the Wyndham Hotel Group. Henry Hunt has pressured them to change all of their phone systems to prevent something like this from happening again. Wyndham has responded with this statement:
"Our thoughts are with the family of Kari Rene Hunt at this difficult time. As this hotel is an independently owned and operated property in the Baymont Franchise System, we are unable to provide any comment or details concerning this event at this time. We are currently looking into the issues that have been raised in the petition." - Kathryn Zambito, Senior Public Relations Manager, Wyndham Hotel Group