Police called 104 times to Rodeway Inn this year leaving officials, neighbors looking for change
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – Investigators confirm the victim that was found dead Sunday morning was 22-year-old Jenna Vanhorn and she died from a gunshot wound.
Early Sunday morning police got reports of a naked man shooting in the parking lot at Rodeway Inn. When they got there, they found Vanhorn in one of the rooms and the suspect was nowhere to be seen.
But this isn't the first time police were called to the Rodeway Inn.
Sheriff Bill Redman said there have been 104 calls of service to Rodeway Inn so far this year.
Those calls range from medical to theft to overdoses. Redman himself has been to the motel a countless number of times and said it’s a problem.
“State road 933 and Rodeway Inn. Car saying there is a male party out in the area that is naked and firing a gun in the air,” as heard on Broadcastify.
County police got the call around 3:45 Sunday morning.
“I’m here, I don’t hear anything. I’m looking around,” as heard on Broadcastify.
And the suspect has not been found yet.
“I’m out back, I don’t see anything still,” as heard on Broadcastify.
But Redman is not surprised cops were called to the Rodeway Inn.
“I’ve been here a countless number of times and I was just a patrol supervisor at that time so our patrol officers were here even more often,” he said.
In fact, last year county police responded to over 150 calls for service.
And Redman said this year is looking to be the same with 104 calls to this motel since the start of this year.
“A wide variety, a lot of drug-related offenses. Sometimes, as many people know, the drug activity leads to criminal offenses, thefts, criminal mischiefs, unfortunately, overdoses, things of that nature,” he said.
Redman said this is the busiest calls for service district in the county, because of the businesses and housing in the Clay Township area.
When it comes to this motel, “servicing several calls at the same business, obviously it becomes an issue with our manpower and trying to service the calls for the rest of the community when we’re tied up here handling specific calls at the same place all the time,” Redman said.
He said something needs to change.
“It’s something that has been an issue and we look to make a difference and hopefully bring that to an end,” he said.
Actually, if Rodeway Inn was in South Bend’s jurisdiction, the property owners would be looking at major fines.
That's because of South Bend’s chronic problem properties ordinance.
According to the ordinance, more than 12 calls in a 90 day period for a property with 51 or more units will result in a $250 fine.
St. Joseph County Council Member Diana Hess said St. Joseph County does not have a nuisance property scheme like South Bend does.
Redman said something needs to change and he already contacted county commissioners and local council to start that process.
“I talked to several different people today and had several conversations about what occurred and what’s been ongoing here at this hotel. So we’re going to see what our next steps are to make sure these calls for service stop here,” he said.
Again these are just talks and any future plans are up in the air.
Neighbors in the area have created a petition to shut the motel down. It has 27 signatures so far and aims to get 1,000.
ABC57 reached out to the owner of the property but he declined to comment.