Woman found dead in freezer of downtown Atlanta hotel

ATLANTA (AP) — A kitchen worker died after she was apparently trapped inside of a walk-in freezer for about 13 hours at a downtown Atlanta hotel, police said Tuesday.

A search for the woman began when she didn’t return home after her shift at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, one of the city’s most recognizable skyscrapers with its cylindrical shape. Investigators reviewed hotel surveillance video, and they believe she may have entered the freezer about 8 p.m. Monday. She was found shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday, Atlanta police Lt. Charles Hampton said.

There was evidence the woman tried to get out of the freezer, but Hampton didn’t elaborate on what led investigators to believe that. Her name wasn’t released.

“It appears that there was some type of mechanism to allow anyone who was inside to be able to exit,” Hampton said. He wasn’t sure if it was working properly.

“Right now there does not appear to be any foul play,” Hampton said.

Police have notified the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the death. The agency didn’t have any immediate comment.

The hotel said in a statement it was devastated by the tragic loss of its long-time worker.

“We are working closely with the authorities in their investigation, and we are providing whatever support that we can for her family,” the statement said.

Police plan to wait for an autopsy to determine whether the woman had any type of medical condition that may have prevented her from getting out, Hampton said.

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