Woman dead after 52 minutes elapse following 911 call reporting ‘someone being murdered’ in Seattle area hotel

52-minutes elapsed between the time a security officer at a Seattle area hotel first called 911 reporting "someone being murdered" and the arrival of medics and police.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA

52-minutes elapsed between the time a security officer at a Seattle area hotel first called 911 reporting "someone being murdered" and the arrival of medics and police, according to The Seattle Times.

According to court documents, on Monday a Ramada Inn security guard in Kent, WA, reported hearing a violent disturbance and told the 911 operator, "We have someone being murdered in 214!"

The guard called 911 a second time 30 minutes later and said a woman was in imminent danger, and that "a man was beating her really bad."

According to King County prosecutors, staff and hotel guests tried unsuccessfully to break down the door due to the delayed emergency response. 52-minutes elapsed between the time the security guard first called 911 at 10:56 AM and the arrival of first responders at 11:48 AM. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:07 PM.

Phillip Jonathan Lopez, 36, from Auburn was arrested at the scene and booked into the Maleng Regional Justice Center, where he remains in custody in lieu of $3 million bail.

According to court records, Lopez also called 911 but claimed his girlfriend of seven years Amber Keith, 33, had overdosed on drugs.

While an official cause of death is pending toxicology tests, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined Keith did not die of natural causes, according to The Seattle Times. However, initial testing on Keith’s blood was positive for narcotics and opiates according to court documents.

Keith had multiple injuries including, bruising on her face and bleeding in her throat consistent with strangulation.

Lopez called 911 at 11:43 AM and an operator coached him on performing CPR, but Kent police noted it sounded from the recording that he stopped CPR and moved away from his phone before police arrived, according to court documents. He was charged Thursday with second-degree murder, accused of beating and strangling his girlfriend in the Ramada Kent hotel room on Monday.

According to The Seattle Times, Kent police Commander Robert Hollis said Thursday police were only told by 911 that there were "sounds of domestic violence in a hotel room with transients," which is a common call in the area. Hollis added that Kent police also received a call about a suicidal person armed with a weapon, and officers were diverted their as it was deemed a higher priority call.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the hotel room and found blood on the walls, floor and bed sheets, $30,000 in cash, a handgun stuffed under the mattress, 1,000 fentanyl pills, along with a pound of crystal meth, heroin and other narcotics with a value of $6,000.

Lopez has prior criminal convictions and is not legally allowed to possess firearms. He also has a pending felony drug charge from January 2020.


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