Homicide detectives with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) are investigating the death of a young woman found mortally injured in a shower in a downtown San Diego hotel and hostel.
SDPD said the woman – who appears to be in her mid-20s but has not yet been identified – was found dead just after midnight Tuesday at the 500 West hotel in the 500 block of West Broadway, in San Diego’s Core Columbia area, a hotel that also serves as a hostel.
The woman was found not breathing in what police described as a “common shower area” at the hotel. She had suffered blunt force trauma to her upper torso and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police believe the woman’s death may be suspicious, so homicide detectives were called to the hotel to handle the investigation. As of 11:30 a.m., police were still at the scene collecting evidence from the second floor of the six-story hotel.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner (ME) will conduct an autopsy to determine the woman’s cause and manner of death, as well as her identity.
No further details were immediately released. The death is under investigation and anyone with information should call the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
NBC 7 spoke with two guests at the hotel who said guests must use a hotel card – the kind you insert into the door – in order to access the community shower area on each floor.
Guest Steve Krasner told NBC 7 this is his second time staying at 500 West and said he came back because the hybrid hotel and hostel is inexpensive and centrally located. He said that with the hotel key system, after a guest closes the door behind them, the latch locks shut.
Krasner also described the shower area, calling it a unisex common space.
“The shower is very small and has a U-shaped curtain so the most, maybe two people could be in the shower at the same time. There’s one toilet and one sink,” he explained.
A sign posted Tuesday on the front door of the hybrid hotel and hostel read: “Now guests will need to check-in with security or front desk.”
The hotel is located in the middle of busy downtown San Diego, near the Gaslamp Quarter. Formerly, it was the site of a YMCA facility.