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Woman found dead in motel parking lot

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By Elaine Rackley

erackley@henryherald.com

McDonough Police are continuing their probe of a woman found dead Thursday at one of the city's motels.

Motel staff called police after noticing the woman had been sitting in her car for over an hour. Police arrived at the Rodeway Inn motel, located at 688 Ga. Hwy. 155 South in McDonough, at 4:47 p.m., said McDonough Police officer Gregory Lyons in his police report.

Lyons was told by rescue units, which arrived at the scene before police, that the woman was dead. She has been identified as Cheryl Kelley, 55, of Avon, Ind.

"It appears to be a death by natural causes," said McDonough Police Chief Preston Dorsey. "As of now, no foul play has been indicated. We are waiting for the autopsy for confirmation."

Kelley's body was discovered in a 1995 Toyota Avalon parked in the hotel's parking lot, according to the police report.

"She checked out around 3 p.m., she then sat in her car," said Sarog Patel, a front-desk clerk at the Rodeway Inn.

Patel said she overheard another hotel guest asking Kelley whether or not she was OK. "I heard her, the lady sitting in the car, say she was fine," said Patel.

Patel walked outside around 4:30 p.m., and saw the lady still sitting in her car.

"I looked into the window, I noticed it was the same lady who checked out a 3 p.m., all of her luggage was in the car," said Patel. "She was in [the] driver's seat, with the car door unlocked. I thought she was sleep."

A hotel worker had called police when Patel approached the car.

"I said hello, hello but no answer," continued Patel.

Kelley had checked into the Rodeway Inn on Tuesday at 11a.m., and checked out the next day, according to the front desk clerk. She paid cash money and was traveling alone, said Patel.

The death investigation has been turned over to the McDonough Criminal Investigation Division.