Person of interest being sought in Capitol Motel case

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SALT LAKE CITY — The body of a woman was found inside a bed frame under a mattress at the Capitol Motel early Thursday, according to Salt Lake City police.

Hotel staffers were first alerted to a possible problem when another motel patron complained about a foul smell.

A woman who checked into that motel room Wednesday night told KSL TV the stench in the room almost knocked her out. She returned to the motel manager and demanded a different room because of the smell.

Thomas Kumalac
Thomas Kumalac

The hotel called police about 2:15 a.m. after a member of the cleaning staff found the body in Room 12 of the hotel, 1749 S. State, said police Sgt. Shawn Josephson.

"There were definite suspicious circumstances," he said.

The body was found under a mattress, inside a wood bed frame. A towel was covering her, Josephson said.

The bed frame reaches to the floor, so it would have been impossible for a person to roll under the bed.

The body was taken to the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office to determine a cause of death.

Investigators were looking Thursday at registration records and who might have been staying in the room.

Salt Lake City police were also seeking information on Thomas Kumalac, 28, Thursday afternoon, calling him a person of interest.

"We're looking for any information," said public information officer Dennis McGowan.

McGowan did not know what Kumalac's connection was to the case or whether Kumalac had any history of criminal activity. He said individuals who may have information on Kumalac or his whereabouts are welcome to remain anonymous.


Written with contributions from Pat Reavy and Shara Park .


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