Unsolved: Man’s stay at Suffolk hotel turns deadly

SUFFOLK, Va. - The murder of William Batchelor could be a movie plot, his family says.

William Batchelor

"It's like something you would see on Lifetime," said Sharon Bond-Tart, his niece.

Batchelor was a 68-year-old man, who was retired and had been living at an Econo Lodge on Holland Road, but on October 30, 2015 room 225 became a crime scene.

"It was one of those that was extremely heinous," said Suffolk Police Detective Sgt. Casey Thomas.

Someone entered Batchelor's room that day, cut him several times in the neck, and left him for dead. "Mr. Batchelor kept to himself. He was a quieter older man," said Sgt. Thomas. "You wouldn't have expected to see that walking into his hotel room."

Immediately, police talked to people at the hotel. Surveillance cameras showed several people in the area around his room and detectives tried to get in touch with his wife. "We do know that Mr. Batchelor was married, so trying to get in contact with her and then trying to set up an interview with her was one of our primary focuses and was not an easy task," said Sgt. Thomas.

Batchelor and his wife

This was Batchelor's second marriage. Detectives talked to her shortly after her husband's death, but since then it's been tough getting in touch with her. "We believe that she could possibly have the information, not to say that she's involved, not to say that she's guilty of anything, but she might know that one person who we could talk to - to find that one lead to find out who did this to her husband," said Sgt. Thomas.

Batchelor had been staying at the hotel ever since his home burned down in Gates County, N.C. in March 2015. Sgt. Thomas says the fire was originally ruled accidental, but since then investigators have had questions about the fire. "We know there was some insurance money from the fire, so that's something we were looking into," she said.

Bond-Tart says her uncle wasn't home at the time of the fire. "If he was in that room, he would've probably burned to a crisp," she said.

She says her uncle had a series of health issues, but was getting better. "He worked so hard to go like that," she said.

Now, she and police are asking anyone with information to come forward to help them solve the case by calling the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.