SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Federal and state officials are investigating the death of a housekeeper who fell six stories down a service elevator shaft in a San Antonio hotel where she worked.
Gloria Rodriguez, 65, had worked at the historic downtown hotel for 12 years, Crockett Hotel manager William Brendel said.
Her body was found at the bottom of the elevator shaft Wednesday night, authorities said.
Brendel told police that although the hotel "had been having problems with the elevators," they had been repaired and were working properly, according to a San Antonio police report.
The San Antonio Express-News said Friday that state records show the elevator at the Crockett was last inspected December 2010 and that no concerns were noted.
An elevator inspector from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which oversees elevator safety, and an official with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were investigating.
But in a 2008 report, the inspector wrote that the service elevator did not have a safety device that keeps elevator doors from opening when an elevator car is stuck between floors. Brendel sent a letter to state officials in 2009 saying the hotel was planning to install the safety device but he could not recall this week if it actually had. Subsequent inspections did not mention any problems with the door restrictor device.
Rodriguez's family was shocked by her death, saying they want an explanation of what happened and why the hotel management was not forthcoming.
"I need answers," said Sara Ochoa, one of Rodríguez's four children. Ochoa said the elevator had trapped an employee a few days earlier and had been stuck before.
Rodriguez's granddaughter, Jennifer Rodriguez, said a hotel security guard reminded her that when elevator doors open, housekeepers usually back into the elevator, pulling their cart of towels and cleaning supplies in with them.
"When you get in the elevator, you have to walk yourself in first," Jennifer Rodriguez said, implying that if there was nothing but air for her grandmother to step into she would have certainly fallen.