In November of 2013, Kari Hunt had had enough. After ten years of a marriage that was at times, to say the least, difficult and abusive she decided to no longer endure the treatment she was receiving at home. She had gone to a sisters house in Marshall Texas to take part in a shower for a friend. While there, it became obvious that the children, two girls and a boy ages 9,4,and 3 did not want to return to their home in Lindale,Texas. Lindale is a great little town approximately 60 miles from Marshall. Kari made the decision to stay with her sister and began adjusting to what she had hoped would be a better life for her and her children. She searched for homes, contacted attorneys and within a two week period had returned to her normal, happy self.
Never without a smile Kari had a unique way of lighting up a room. Friendly, caring and a sense of humor that was very entertaining.
After about three weeks her estranged husband had asked to see the children and Kari agreed. On Sunday, December 1st, 2013 Kari took the children to her estranged husband at a local hotel in Marshall to let the children stay with him for a few days.
He had rented a room at the Baymont Inn & Suites and when Kari arrived with the children she routinely began gathering things the children would need, diaper bags,coats, toys etc and then she took the children and their belongings to the hotel room where her estranged husband was waiting. After taking the childrens belongings into the room he managed to talk her into having a cigarette in the bathroom. While there he began asking Kari to come back home and try to work things out but she refused. After her continued refusal he became agitated and at some point removed a knife from his pocket and began attacking Kari. Hearing her mother screaming to call 911, her oldest daughter did just that. She picked up the receiver on the hotel room phone and dialed 911. Nothing, Static.
She dialed again, nothing, still static.
Screams getting louder and a disturbance just on the other side of the wall right next to her she tried again, nothing and finally, out of fright, desperation and love for her mother she tried again.
4 times she tried to contact someone for help by doing exactly as she had been taught. If you're ever in trouble and need help just pick up a phone and dial 911. Well, not in this case. That little 9 year old girl did just what every police officer, firefighter, teacher, grandparent and parent teaches children to do and it didn't work.
Why? Most if not all hotels, motels, office buildings, schools, retail stores, government buildings etc use a Multi Line Telephone System that requires, in most cases, that in order to dial an "outside" number you must press an extra digit first and then listen for a dial tone. It may be a 9 or an 8 or a 7 or any variation of codes and numbers that may be applied to any particular MLTS system. We don't teach children that! 911 was developed to be 3 numbers for a reason. 911 is one of if not the most well known phone numbers in the United States. Not 9-911.
Most adults don't realize it either and in a panic mode, or a medical emergency are you going to take the time to read the face plate on a phone so you can know how to call 911?
The Kari Hunt Foundation was created to bring awareness to the public, telecommunications companies and our government about the dangers of not being able to contact 911 when the need for help arises. This problem can be solved with little to no costs and in fact most MLTS phone systems in service today are capable of dialing 911 by pressing only those three numbers and it is usually done with a flip of a switch or a computer keyboard swipe.The Kari Hunt Foundation is dedicated to making sure that our 911 services work every time, work correctly and are dependable.
Kari's Law was created to try and correct this problem by requiring three things, 1) Direct dialing of 911 by pressing only those three digits, 2) On site notification that a 911 has been placed from the MLTS system and 3) No interference or redirection of a 911 call. Kari's Law has been passed in Illinois, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas and Suffolk County New York. Kari's Law has also been introduced in Congress and the Senate as of January 18, 2017.
Help us educate the ones that can prevent this from happening. Your contribution will benefit the public safety of our citizens and remove the roadblocks that prevented Kari's daughter from reaching help.With what is a seemingly dangerous society we live in today, The Kari Hunt Foundation is working to ensure that women can defend and protect themselves.
Kari was my daughter and I vowed that no other child will ever be faced with a broken MLTS system. Help us get there.