Kansas City, KS woman’s attack highlights common police problem - KCTV5

Kansas City, KS woman’s attack highlights common police problem

Posted: Updated:
A Kansas City, KS woman’s recent attack highlights a common police problem -- they can’t find locations from cell phones. (Angie Ricono/KCTV5) A Kansas City, KS woman’s recent attack highlights a common police problem -- they can’t find locations from cell phones. (Angie Ricono/KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

A Kansas City, KS woman’s recent attack highlights a common police problem -- they can’t find locations from cell phones.

Shannon Keithley, 39, was robbed and raped on Aug. 18th. She called 911 two separate times.

The first call was 3:30 a.m. She called again around 5:08 a.m. when she escaped her house.

Keithley's second call to 911 ended when she crashed her car. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Why they couldn’t find her? I want to know why they couldn’t find her?” questioned her sister, Heather Isbell.

KCK police say they share in their frustration. The department says officers went searching and could not locate Keithley. They didn’t have enough information.

 “Calling 911 is one thing, but without your address, we can't get there all the time,” explained Mjr. Rance Quinn with Kansas City, KS Police Department's dispatch.

Quinn says it’s not a lack of effort. It’s a technology problem all departments across the nation are dealing with. 911 systems were designed with landlines in mind.

People can call from cell phones, but the information from cell towers and service providers are vague.

A call taker will only see your cell phone number. There won’t be a name and the emergency call does not provide an exact location.

Call takers can see a map showing the tower that pinged. But that shows a huge coverage area. And isolating that call takes times and sometimes the information is just wrong.

“We know people need our help when they call 911 but without to know where you are calling from it’s hard to do that sometimes,” says Quinn.

Police face this lack of information every day, and 90 percent of emergency calls in KCK are now wireless calls.

Dispatchers worry about kids who may not know addresses; domestic violence victims who can’t share full information; and medical emergencies like heart attacks and strokes where a caller can’t speak clearly.

Investigation continues

Keithley's case joins other high-profile tragedies across the nation where people called from cell phones and police either didn’t find the callers or went searching in the wrong direction.

KCTV5’s investigative unit is speaking with the National Emergency Number Association about the funding it will take to fix systems the legislative push for federal funding. Our team is also working with the Mid-America Regional Council to test different cell carriers in our area.

MARC manages 911 systems in Cass, Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Platte, Ray and Wyandotte counties.

Keithley 's case

Keithley's alleged attacker is behind bars. Orlando Taylor is charged with burglary and rape. But Keithley's family says he should face murder charges because his attack precipitated her flight.

“He started the dominoes. He started the chain of events that created her death,” says Keithley's sister, Angelia Savorelli.

Keithley crashed her car less than a mile from her home while she was on the phone with 911 operators. Her sisters point out Keithley always wore her seatbelt. They say she probably wasn’t wearing it that morning because she was in a panic fleeing her attacker.

The prosecutor’s office has not charged Taylor with murder or manslaughter although Keithley's family wants Taylor to face that charge too.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.