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Greenwood hotel manager found dead at hotel she managed, coroner says

Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites under scrutiny for police runs
The operations manager of a Greenwood hotel was found dead last week at the hotel she managed.
Posted at 12:36 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 12:57:23-04

GREENWOOD — The operations manager of a Greenwood hotel was found dead last week at the hotel she managed.

Dana Smith, 37, died on August 24 at the Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites, according to the Johnson County coroner, and no foul play is expected.

She was found in a hotel room after police were called to the room just after 9 a.m.

The cause and manner of death have not yet been released because toxicology results have not come back.

Smith’s death comes after a WRTV Investigation that revealed a disturbing trend — police runs are on the rise to the hotel located at 1117 E. Main St in Greenwood.

WRTV found Greenwood Police had 75 calls to the hotel in 2019, 109 in 2020, 165 calls in 2021, and from January to April— 46 calls.

  • 2019—75 calls, 20 criminal offenses
  • 2020- 109 calls, 14 criminal offenses
  • 2021- 165 calls, 35 criminal offenses
  • 2022 (Jan-April) 46 calls, 14 criminal offenses

“The calls are mostly drug-related, but you also get robberies, fights, stabbings, shootings and overdoses,” Greenwood Police Department Assistant Chief Matt Fillenwarth said. “It’s been a nuisance for a while.”

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Greenwood Police say they do what they can to protect the public by doing saturation patrols in and around the hotel.

“You can't do that aggressive patrolling every day,” Fillenwarth said. “Every time we do it, we end up with a huge amount of guns, drugs and arrests for a night's worth of work."

WRTV Investigates did some checking and found the hotel is registered with the state under the name “Lodging & Trade LLC” and the general manager is listed as Ahmed Mubarak.

We reached out via email to set up a time to meet to talk about the number of police runs and safety.

“At this time your request for an interview has been denied. All issues regarding this incident has been addressed with the parties involved. Thank you! Management,” the email sent by the hotel read.

WRTV Investigates stopped by the hotel on April 20.

As we walked up, an employee met WRTV Investigates outside.

WRTV asked to speak with the general manager and left a business card with the employee, but she said no one would be speaking with WRTV.

Just last month, a Greenwood man reached an agreement to avoid prosecution after admitting to entering another hotel guest’s room and taking her credit cards at the Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites in March 2022.

A Johnson County judge accepted a pretrial diversion agreement for Kenneth Speech.

As part of the agreement, Speech admitted to Criminal Conversion, a misdemeanor, and agreed to pay a $454 diversion fee.

Speech must also contact a diversion coordinator within two weeks of signing the agreement and must notify the coordinator of any change of address or subsequent arrest or criminal charges.

The court set a compliance hearing for August 30, 2023 and if Speech has successfully complied with the terms of the diversion agreement, prosecutors will dismiss the charge.

"That is outrageous," said Nina Alonzo Ochoa, a Fort Wayne mother who called Greenwood Police to the Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites after what she calls a scary encounter with Kenneth Speech. "The system is made for men to get away with these things and belittle women's right to safety and privacy."

Ochoa came to Greenwood the weekend of March 19 to shop at the outlet malls and the Greenwood Park Mall.

“I was coming to look for my daughter's Michael Kors purse that she wanted for her 17th birthday,” Ochoa said.

Ochoa said the shopping took longer than expected, and she and her friend needed a hotel for the night.

Ochoa says she left her purse and another bag in the room and went to Walmart with her friend.

“I went back up to my room and as I open the door, I saw a man just standing there,” Ochoa said. “I closed the door back up and said 'there's a guy in our room'. I was like I have to go in, he's going through my belongings."

Ochoa went into the room and looked in her wallet.

“There was no credit cards, no debit cards, all of my cards were gone,” Ochoa said. “I was startled. I really didn't know what to do."

Ochoa notified the front desk and called 911.

Greenwood police responded and questioned the suspect, Kenneth Speech, about her credit cards, records show.

“I did mention to the police officer that he was rumbling around in the bathroom," Ochoa said.

According to a probable cause affidavit signed by a police officer, “Kenneth stood on the bathroom counter, moved a ceiling tile and pulled a stack of credit cards from the northeast area of the ceiling. Kenneth then handed the cards to me."

Records show the officer interviewed a hotel employee who stated she “accidentally doubled booked the room.”

After Ochoa spoke with WRTV last month, she stopped by the Red Carpet Inn and reminded them she was still due a refund.

Days later, Ochoa said she did get her money back for her hotel reservation.

She says she’s sharing her story in the hopes of prompting the Red Carpet Inn and Fanta Suites to improve its safety procedures.

"The security, the cleanliness of the hotel, it definitely needs to be well kept," Ochoa said.

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