JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after finding two injured women at a Southside hotel. One was pronounced dead, the other taken to UF Health in critical condition.
It happened Saturday morning at the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndam on Baymeadows Road.
Investigators say someone pulled the fire alarm around 4:30. When they arrived at the hotel they found two injured women. One was pronounced dead, the other taken to UF Health in critical condition.
Officers won't release the woman's cause of death. They say they are still trying to determine what happened, but say the women were found in the same proximity; one just inside a room the just other outside.
According to JSO, the two women knew each other and were returning to the hotel. The Sheriff's Office wouldn't say if one of them was the person who had booked the room, or if they were from out of town. Now officers are trying to figure out if anyone else was with them or if there are any other suspects.
There are multiple areas where police were looking at. One was the three rooms with the doors and windows covered in blood. Two of those doors were upstairs, one downstairs. Another spot officers had blocked off was behind another building where a silver car was blocked off with evidence markers around it that police were focusing on.
It was a shocking scene as people woke up to dozens of police cars surrounding the hotel. Some were even forced to stay in their rooms. Lazare Tokpa works in the area.
"Very scary," Topka said. It's close to my work and I haven't seen this type of thing. I'm very worried about security."
Waymon Hampton had just flown into Jacksonville this morning from Atlanta, and says this is definitely not what he expected to see.
"Very surprising,' Hampton says. "I wasn't expecting to see anything like that. Not here."
JSO had to keep people in their rooms for hours to not disrupt the crime scene, before escorting them out. JFRD even had to bring in a ladder truck to get one woman out of her room, which had it's door covered in blood. Hampton says that this scene has him worried.
Hampton says, "I worry about my wife when she's coming home or going to work. Nighttime, you just don't know who's going to try to attack you or anything."
The hotel is the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham. News4jax reached out to Wyndham hotels to see if they had any comment, but has not heard back.