FCC announces inquiry into 911 system following murder of East Texas mother
Kari Rene Hunt
WASHINGTON D.C. (KLTV) -
On Monday, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai announced that the FCC will be starting an inquiry to determine what steps can be taken to ensure that no matter where someone dials 911, they reach emergency personnel.
In December, Kari Rene Hunt was allegedly stabbed to death by her estranged husband after he cornered her in a bathroom at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Marshall. Kari's nine-year-old daughter immediately dialed 911, but the call never went through because the phone system required her to dial '9' to get an outside line. The child tried to call three more times, each one with the same result.
"Kari's daughter behaved heroically under horrific circumstances," stated Pai. "But the hotel's phone system failed her, her mother and her entire family."
Pai is sending a letter to the ten largest hotel chains in the country to find out what happens when a guest dials 911. If they don't immediately reach trained emergency personnel, they will have to respond with a plan for solving that issue.
In his first speech as an FCC commissioner, Pai said that, "when customers dial 911, they need to reach emergency personnel; it shouldn't matter whether they are using the public-switched telephone network (or PSTN), a VoIP application or a wireless phone."
Pai added that it also shouldn't matter whether they are using a phone at a hotel, motel or office building, saying that if you dial 911 in a large building, you need to reach someone who can help. He added that the technology to enable this to happen already exists.
"Kari is gone, and there is nothing we can do to bring her back. But her death will not bein vain if we can take action to ensure that whenever someone calls 911, they connect with emergency personnel," said Pai. "Over the coming weeks and months, that’s exactly what I intend to do."
Brad Allen Dunn remains in the Harrison County Jail on $5.1 million bond, charged with killing his wife.