ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has learned a woman was found dead inside a walk-in freezer at a popular downtown hotel.
Atlanta Police Lt. Charles Hampton said the kitchen worker was found Tuesday morning inside the freezer at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, one of the city's largest and most recognizable hotels with its cylindrical shape.
The victim was identified as 61-year-old Carolyn Robinson.
"She was a nice person. She got along with everybody. Everybody loved her," said Robinson's co-worker, Cecelia Edwards.
Hampton said a search for Robinson began when she didn't return home after her shift.
Hampton said investigators reviewed hotel surveillance video, and they believe she may have entered the freezer shortly after 8 p.m. Monday.
Hampton said there was evidence Robinson tried to get out, but he didn't elaborate. He said he wasn't sure whether a mechanism to get out of the freezer was in working order, adding that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.
Channel 2's Liz Artz learned the Westin was last inspected in 2007.
OSHA officials said there was not a citation issued at that time. OSHA has six months to complete its investigation.
Edwards, who worked with Robinson for 14 years, said the incident has stunned employees.
"I can't talk about anything like that," Edwards said. "She's a friendly lady. She talks to everybody. Everybody knows her and everybody loves her."
The Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta released the following statement Tuesday:
"We are devastated by the tragic loss of our long-time associate and member of our Westin family. We are working closely with the authorities in their investigation, and we are providing whatever support that we can for her family. As this is an active police investigation, we are unable to provide further information at this time. Any inquiries should be directed to the Atlanta Police Department."
The medical examiner said it could be several weeks before an exact cause of death is determined.
Cox Media Group