Police identify woman found dead inside Merriam hotel - KCTV5

Police identify woman found dead inside Merriam hotel

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© Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Justin Schmidt © Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Justin Schmidt
Man sought for questioning Man sought for questioning
© Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Justin Schmidt © Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Justin Schmidt

Police are still looking for the person responsible for killing a woman whose body was found in a hotel room.

Police have identified the 37-year-old Platte City woman as Toby Marie Rock, a mother of five children ranging in age from 8 to 22.

Rock's family is struggling with her death, asking for the public to come forward with any information.

Police need help tracking down a man in surveillance pictures that they would like to ask a few questions. Police are not calling him a suspect.

Merriam police detectives and Johnson County Sheriff's deputies initially responded to the scene about 9:45 a.m. Friday.

The regional murder squad was called in Friday afternoon and will begin work Saturday.

A member of the hotel's cleaning staff found Rock inside an upstairs room at the Homestead Studio Suites hotel, located at Interstate 35 and Shawnee Mission Parkway. 

Authorities were initially dispatched on a medical call about a person not breathing at the hotel.

Police said they have numerous leads and are reviewing surveillance video from the hotel and surrounding businesses.

Based on that video, they want to talk to a man seen at the hotel front desk about 9:45 p.m. Thursday.

Late Friday evening police released still photos taken from surveillance video inside the hotel. They are hoping this person could shed some light on what happened in room 354 where Rock was found. Police say her body showed signs of obvious trauma.

"It is pretty apparent to us that this is a murder investigation. We have notified the appropriate people and the metro squad will come out tomorrow to help us with this investigation," said Merriam police chief Tim Burnett.

Police said Rock had stayed at the hotel before.

Investigators remained on the scene Friday evening taking the names of guests or visitors entering or leaving the property.

"They are going around doing checks with everybody. I don't know anything," said guest Michael Rodriguez.

A tow truck removed a van from the property around 6:30 p.m. although it was unclear if it was connected to the homicide.

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