- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

TOWSON, MD. (AP) - Authorities were investigating the deaths of four people found inside a hotel guest room Monday afternoon in suburban Baltimore. The bodies were discovered at the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel in Towson, just north of Baltimore, said Baltimore County Police department spokesman Bill Toohey.

Police received a call at 2:56 p.m. Monday reporting that four people were dead in a room. Toohey did not know their ages or whether they were related.

The occupants of the room didn’t check out when they were expected to Monday afternoon, Toohey said. That’s when hotel staff unlocked the door and found the bodies. Cpl. Michael Hill, another police spokesman, said it was not known whether all four people were hotel guests.

The incident was believed to be isolated, but several guests told WMAR-TV in Baltimore that hotel staff escorted them away from the floor where the bodies were found. Police at the scene told guests that they were safe.

Several hotel employees declined to comment.

K.C. Kavanagh, spokeswoman for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, said Sheraton Baltimore North is a franchise property and the owner of the hotel is GF Hotels.

“This is just a terrible tragedy and our team is terribly saddened by this event,” Kavanagh said. “We’re doing all we can to assist the police and it’s a matter that’s in their hands at this time.”

A call to GF Management Co. in Philadelphia was not immediately returned.

Several marked and unmarked police cars and two forensic services vans were parked outside the hotel entrance.

Nick Gelston, 30, an electrician from Bel Air, said he stayed at the hotel Saturday night to attend a friend’s wedding. He was back there Monday afternoon because his car had broken down and he’d had to leave it at the hotel.

“I hope it was nobody who was with us,” Gelston said, adding that he wasn’t aware that any of the wedding guests had stayed on the 10th floor.

Melanie Morris, a cosmetics trainer from Birmingham, Ala., checked into the hotel Monday afternoon and said she was “a little scared” to see police cars outside.

“The front desk said there was an incident on the 10th floor and there was no immediate danger to the guests,” Morris said.

She said she had stayed at the hotel before and always found it to be pleasant and well-run. Her room cost $167 a night.

The hotel is near Goucher College and the Towson Town Center shopping mall and just inside the Baltimore Beltway. Goucher President Sanford Unger said no students live at the hotel and police had not contacted the college.

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