Family members of two Iowa men who died of drug overdoses at an Urbandale motel gathered to protest. They say if something isn’t done, more people will die there.
Since 2009, there have been three suicide attempts, three deaths and more than one thousand police calls to the Motel Relax. Family and community members wonder how many more deaths it will take for the hotel to clean up.
Lisa Nauman leaves a simple reminder of a bare cross at the motel where her brother Chad died last august. She wants people to remember the horrible way he spent his last hours.
“Chad came here with a friend of his and he on the ground for 12 hours unresponsive while no one got help.”
Tammy Rude has a similar story. Her son Michael took so many pills he died in his sleep at Motel Relax.
“To have him die at an Urbandale community where I thought it would be safe is really sad.”
Family members blame Motel Relax for the deaths. They say the motel is filled with criminal activity. Police were called there 359 times last year.
“The police reports show domestic fights, guns shots, deaths, and crack pipes being found in the beds. There’s a variety of different problems they come here for,” says Nauman.
About 50 people signed a petition Saturday evening, urging the motel owners to shut down, or clean up their act.
“I want it to come to a stop so they can`t hurt anyone else. It seems like it`s the Bates Motel people check in they don`t check out,” says Rude.
The motel’s owners say they have a zero tolerance drug policy, and are working with police to reduce the number of emergency calls there. But Chad and Michael’s family say it’s too late for their loved ones. They want the motel to clean up before someone else’s family suffers the pain they feel every day.
“I really would like to see some justice done so my son doesn`t die in vain,” says Rude.
Family members say they want the motel to add security measures like surveillance cameras, an off duty police officer presence, and requiring employees to report criminal activity immediately.