SUWANEE - Investigators have ruled the death of a woman found dead at a Suwanee motel parking lot Monday afternoon a homicide - the first for the city in 42 years.
Capt. Clyde Byers, Suwanee Police Department spokesman, said the black woman's body was found around 4:15 p.m. in a parking lot beside a Motel 6 at 3103 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. She was found lying between a 40-foot storage trailer and a privacy fence.
Although he said investigators believe they have identified the woman, he and Ted Bailey, chief forensic investigator for the Office of the Medical Examiner, said they are not releasing the woman's name or how she died until family is notified.
He said the woman is believed to have a local criminal history and that is how investigators were able to identify the woman.
"We're pretty sure we've made an identification, but we're waiting to match fingerprints to make 100 percent sure this is who she is," Byers said.
He said the area where the woman was found was secluded and away from the motel.
"This is an area that you and I wouldn't go strolling through," he said.
Byers said he and investigators are unsure how the woman ended up in the hotel parking lot, but Suwanee and Gwinnett County police are trying to determine who is responsible for the woman's death.
"We've questioned people at the hotel, but that was sort of a dead end," he said.
A front desk employee confirmed the woman was found on motel property by a cleaning crew but refused to comment further about the incident.
Byers said the woman is not believed to have been a guest at the motel and the next step is to question others in the area.
"We will follow up on any and every lead to the fullest and hopefully get to the bottom of this," Byers said. "We'll work very hard and if we're lucky we'll get something."
He said this is the first homicide case for the city since 1965.
"This doesn't happen every day," he said.