Family's petition in loved ones honor catches the eyes and ears - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Family's petition in loved ones honor catches the eyes and ears of Congressman

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Our local congressman has heard an East Texas family's concerns and he says he and his staff are working on getting them the change they want to see.

Thursday night, we told you about the petition Kari Rene Hunt's family has started in her memory. Earlier this month, Kari was murdered in a Marshall motel. One of her children tried calling 911 during the attack, but family members say the call never went through because the child did not know to dial "9" in order to access an outside phone line.

Now, Congressman Louie Gohmert says his staff is researching what they can do to help make sure this doesn't happen to another family.

Since Kari's murder, her family has made it their mission to seek change in her memory. A petition on change.org asks East Texas Representative Louie Gohmert and the United States Congress to do something so that dialing 911, no matter where you're calling from, will get you help.

"We're going to try to put something together that would be acceptable all of the way around to make this happen," says Congressman Gohmert.

The online petition is constantly gaining more support. Thursday night it had 2,800 signatures. Less than 24 hours later, it has more than 3,300.

"If there is an emergency, your thought is 911. 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," explains Kari's stepmother DaLonna Hunt.

"My job is serving the people of East Texas and this is a crying need, a tragedy that provoked it and I want to do whatever I can to help. That's my job," says Gohmert.

For Kari's family, pursuing this in her honor is now their job.

"I don't know whether that could have saved my daughter. That might have gotten somebody there quicker,"  says DaLonna.

Congressman Gohmert says his staff is currently researching the best way to approach this issue. He says this change would impact more than just hotels, but many other businesses too. Right now, they're looking into the costs and different methods of tackling the problem.

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