Illustration by Molly Oleson.
Photo by Guadalupe Gonzalez

Two guests walked into the garbage room at the Hotel Sunrise at 447 Valencia St. Wednesday around 10 p.m. and found the lifeless body of a woman in her 40s, according to Rajengra Regmi, a clerk at the hotel.

The woman, whose name and age has not yet been released, was a frequent visitor at the hotel, he said.

Regmi, who said he was not at the hotel on Wednesday night, viewed the surveillance tapes. It shows the two guests discovering the body and then taking her into Room 321 where they had been staying since Feb. 11, he said.

The guests, James Gaines and Gabriel Dryer, then ran downstairs to tell the hotel worker about their discovery and the clerk called the police, Regmi said.

Gaines and Dryer have not checked out, but they were not at the hotel this morning. Police have taken the surveillance video and the woman’s identification.

The SF Medical Examiner arrived on the scene and did not find external signs of a homicide, according to police. At this point, the death case is not being investigated as a homicide.

An earlier report from the San Francisco Police Department said that they had responded to a call at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday about a body found in a garbage chute. The clerk said, however, that it was a garbage room.

SFPD homicide investigators were not requested to come to the scene. The medical examiner’s office will have to determine the cause of death, the report said.

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  1. When will the people who operate these scum bag infested residential hotels be held accountable? These places are major crime havens for addicts, drug dealers, pimps, hookers and who knows what else. The parties who run these places should have stricter regulations. I live across from the Eula hotel on 16th st & I see the scum who come & go as they please. Its crazy how the city turns a blind eye to this shit…

    1. SRO’s are inherently dangerous places. Where else can you stay for cash with no questions asked? Many of the inhabitants of these joints are out of prison, rehab or mental institutions. The management of these hostels can only do so much to prevent the residents doing harm to themselves and each other.

      And in fact there are so many regulations pushed onto SRO’s that it is barely a profitable business at all. When the city mandated sprinkler systems – a huge expense – several of them close and a few more burned down, ironically.

      Also bear in mind that several of them are run by non-profits, meaning that the city is ultimately responsible for safety anyway.

      There’s really only two choices. Either accept that there will be a lot of drugs and crime in these places or close them down. Personally I’d rather have these guys have a place to go than roam the streets looking for trouble.