Body found at Omni Hotel is that of missing worker, family says

By Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor

Jill Renick

HOUSTON - A body found at the Omni Hotel in Houston is that of a worker who went missing during Hurricane Harvey, according to family members.

Houston police confirmed that the body was found at 4 Riverway in the Galleria neighborhood, but would not confirm the person’s identity. However, a statement from family members said they had been notified that the body of Jill Renick, 48, was found at the hotel.

"We are heartbroken," Renick's sister, Pam Eslinger, said in a written statement. "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's body was found in the ceiling of the basement near a set of elevators.

A statement from officials at the hotel, where Renick worked as the spa director, said they have been in contact with her family and are offering whatever assistance they can.

“We are heartbroken and shaken by this development,” officials said in a statement.

Investigators have been searching for Renick since Aug. 27, when she disappeared during an evacuation of the building as floodwaters were quickly rising.

She called a co-worker, saying she was stuck in a service elevator that was filling with floodwaters. Employees could not find her, nor raise the elevator due to the rising water and a power outage.

The HPD Dive Team made several attempts to find her after Aug. 27, but were unsuccessful due to the severe flooding.

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