For the first time, an East Texas family is speaking out about their loved one's murder in hopes of seeing something good come from a horrible tragedy.
They want new regulations when it comes to dialing 911 from a hotel, motel or any business with an internal phone line. They're sure that eliminating the need to dial "9" before making a call out of the building could save lives.
On December 1, Kari Rene Hunt was killed at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Marshall. Later that day, authorities arrested Kari's estranged husband, Brad Dunn. He has been charged with her murder.
According to Kari's family, one of her children tried calling 911 when Kari was attacked, but the child did not know to dial 9 to get an outside line first.
"She started to dial 911, but in the hotels, unfortunately, she needed to dial 9 to get an outside line before she could dial 911.. She said nobody would answer and she didn't know what to do," explains Kari's step-mother DeLonna Hunt.
Kari's parents say it's now their family's mission to seek change in Kari's memory. Their request is simple. They want 911 to mean 911 no matter where you're calling from.
"If there is an emergency, your thought is 9-1-1 You don't think, 'Oh my gosh. Do I have to dial 9 to get out? ' ...you dial 911. I want every single building to have that ability. I don't know whether that could have saved my daughter. That might have gotten somebody there quicker," says DaLonna while fighting back tears.
A petition on change.org tells Kari's story and explains her family's mission. They're getting more supporters every day.
"People are writing us letters saying, 'What can we do? How can we get this out?' ...it's just like... share it. Sign it and share it. The more people we can onboard, the better the chances are that we're going to get somebody's attention," explains DaLonna.
While they are getting attention, their family is also just getting started and not stopping until they know this won't happen to another family.
"Kari loved with a purpose and if we could make sure that this doesn't happen to anybody else... that a child... anybody... could make a 911 call and be able to get the help for whatever reason... then we've done what we need to do," says DaLonna.
People all across the state and even a few people outside of the country have signed Kari's family's petition. Right now, the petition has nearly 3,000 signatures. If you'd like to view or sign the petition, click here.
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