More than a week after she went missing during Hurricane Harvey, Jill Renick's body has been discovered within the Omni Houston Hotel, authorities report. Renick was the director of spa services at the Houston hotel.
"We are very sad to report that a body has been found in the hotel," Omni Hotels said in a statement. "Authorities are on site and we are offering any assistance we can. While it has not been confirmed, we presume it is our beloved associate, Jill Renick. We are heartbroken and shaken by this development. We are communicating with the family to offer whatever assistance we can, and we are arranging grief counseling to help our associates process this shocking news. This is a difficult time for us all. We ask that you please respect everyone's privacy as we deal with our tragic loss."
Pam Eslinger, Renick's sister, issued a statement on behalf of their family, saying, "It is with heavy hearts that the search for my sister, Jill Renick, has concluded with the confirmation of her death. We are heartbroken. To know Jill is to have loved her. She could light up a room just by walking in and adored life. She was loved by so many people and we will feel the impact of her absence in our hearts forever."
Renick was last seen at the hotel on August 27, two days after the historic hurricane made landfall before stalling over Texas. It is believed she was helping hotel guests escape flood waters when she herself became trapped in an elevator, unable to escape. Investigators said a maintenance worker discovered her body Thursday morning in the basement by the elevator bank.
Anyone who would like to share their stories of Jill Renick is encouraged to email associate editor Samantha Reed at [email protected]