HOUSTON - The body of an Omni Hotel employee missing since Hurricane Harvey was found Thursday in the flooded hotel.
Jill Renick, 48, was director of Spa Services for the Omni. She had been missing since the hotel evacuated when the muddy waters of Buffalo Bayou began spilling into the bottom floor on Aug. 27.
When employees gathered for a headcount after they got out, Renick was nowhere to be found.
Frantic relatives called shelters, hospitals and law enforcement looking for answers.
Renick's sister, Pam Eslinger of Frisco, released the following statement Wednesday:
“It is with heavy hearts that the search for my sister, Jill Renick, has concluded with the confirmation of her death. We are heartbroken. To know Jill is to have loved her. She could light up a room just by walking in and adored life. She was loved by so many people and we will feel the impact of her absence in our hearts forever.”
Renick had volunteered to stay at the hotel Saturday night to help guests as the storm approached, relatives said.
Her sister told CBS DFW that Renick called the front desk for help.
“Saying ‘I’m in an elevator. The water is rushing in. Please help me,’ ” Eslinger said.
Twenty feet of water eventually flooded the first floor of the hotel near Woodway and the South Loop. Hotel managers issued the following statement Thursday.
"We are very sad to report that a body has been found in the hotel. Authorities are on site and we are offering any assistance we can. While it has not been confirmed, we presume it is our beloved associate, Jill Renick. We are heartbroken and shaken by this development. We are communicating with the family to offer whatever assistance we can, and we are arranging grief counseling to help our associates process this shocking news. This is a difficult time for us all. We ask that you please respect everyone’s privacy as we deal with our tragic loss."
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