Dead body found at local motel

Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

January 11, 2014

A State Road resident checked into an Elkin motel on Wednesday and was discovered dead on Friday evening.

According to hotel records, Diane Fenton, 47, of State Road arrived at the Elk Inn located at 1101 N. Bridge St. Wednesday.

A call to 911 was made at about 6:18 p.m. Friday by hotel staff after a housekeeper discovered Fenton near the drink machines, according to the Elkin Police Department

Elk Inn manager Lucy Sanchez said, “She arrived and asked for a room for the week saying she was having problems with her boyfriend and wanted privacy. She showed ID, paid cash for a room and booked a room for an entire week.”

According to Sanchez, the hotel guest was accompanied by a second person at the Wednesday check-in.

“The second person was a male, a very large male, like over 300 pounds,” said Sanchez. “I did not see him after that night. I asked if the guy was going to be staying with her and she said he was just a friend and helping her out.”

According to Sanchez, on Friday afternoon Fenton called the front desk of the hotel and spoke to Sanchez.

“She said that she confirmed her ex-boyfriend was still incarcerated and she requested to pass calls to her room and let people know she was staying at the motel,” said Sanchez.

“Since her stay I started seeing this brown pickup truck in the parking lot. I saw her go in it. I also saw the same pickup truck on Friday. Now I don’t see it anymore,” said Sanchez. “It’s like it vanished.”

Sanchez said she was given the night off on Friday and went to dinner with other hotel employees affiliated with the Elk Inn. A housekeeper who was covering for Sanchez discovered Fenton’s body.

“She (the housekeeper) was over by the vending area throwing out some trash. The housekeeper looked into the corridor and saw feet next to the vending machine. She called police.”

Elkin Police Chief Monroe Wagoner said Saturday, “The call first came in stating that a person was non-responsive. The person was located at the south side of the property. An EKG was performed on scene. It was determined that she was deceased.”

According to Sanchez, money was found near the location where Fenton had fallen.

“Two dollar bills were found in between her legs. The weird part about it was that she had a jacket in her hands and looked like it was shoved in between the soda machine. I can’t get past that pickup truck that is no longer around, too,” said Sanchez.

When asked if she believed the circumstances surrounding the death are suspicious, Sanchez said they seem that way.

“None of it makes sense to me, but it all seems a bit odd. People just don’t drop dead here. One would think that if you are waiting for someone in a brown truck, you might want to check on the person if they never arrive in your car,” said Sanchez.

“There was nothing suspicious about the death,” said Wagoner. “This is somebody who appears to have walked out of her room and had some kind of medically-related matter.”

Wagoner also confirmed that an autopsy is being performed on the deceased.

Sanchez said room 215, which Fenton occupied, remains untouched. She is hoping for the family to come to the hotel and pick up her personal belongings. She said in the room were cigarettes, clothes, hospital records, and pharmacy instructions for multiple prescription medications.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.