12/16/09 — GPD: Hotel deaths were murders

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GPD: Hotel deaths were murders

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on December 16, 2009 1:46 PM

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Goldsboro police say all evidence points toward a double homicide in the case of a married couple found dead Monday at a local hotel.

Suryakant Patel, 65, and his wife, Bhavanaben Patel, 61, were housekeepers at America's Best Value Inn, which is located off U.S. 70 Bypass East.

Sgt. Chad Calloway, a spokesman for the Goldsboro Police Department, said evidence shows the Patels both were attacked by an unknown suspect or suspects.

"It's definitely a double homicide," Calloway said. "There's just things in the scene that show ... the injuries were not done by themselves."

Calloway declined to say whether the couple were found in bed or elsewhere in the room. Police will not describe the murder scene further until investigation is complete, he added.

The sergeant said police do not know if anything was stolen from Room 108, which was the couple's home. A possible motive for the crime had not been released.

The Patels, natives of India who had immigrated to the U.S. some time ago, had worked at the hotel for about two years, police said.

Calloway said early today that police had no new leads in the case, and were still seeking the public's help for further information.

Both local and state investigators are involved, with a State Bureau of Investigation agent assigned to the inquiry.

On Monday, housekeeping staff discovered the couple, and called authorities around 10:40 a.m., according to police records.

Police did not release an estimated time of death, but Calloway said the time between the murders and the discovery of the bodies was "not very long."

Calloway said police could also not release the manner of death or what weapons might have been used in the attack.

Investigators canvassed the area in their investigation, talking with people who had come into contact with the pair.

"I can tell you that they're extremely well-liked, and not known to have any enemies," Calloway said.

The sergeant said lead investigator Dwayne E. Dean and other investigators need anyone with information, no matter how trivial, to report it.

Reporting of information can be done anonymously through the Crime Stoppers hotline, at 735-2255.

The lead investigator can also be reached directly at 580-4211. N.C. SBI agent B.L. Lewis can also be contacted at 580-4307.