People Living in Nuisance Motel Must Find New Place to Stay

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COLUMBIA - Guests staying at the Providence Inn and Suites motel received a letter Monday morning saying they need to move out by April 30 since the motel is closing May 1. The letter said the motel could not compete in the market despite "a very large sum of money" that was invested in 2009.

However, residents of the motel said they think management might have other reasons for closing. Crystal Tenney has stayed there for eight months. "It's because of too many instances of people getting killed over here," she said.

The announcement to close the motel comes after a 16-year-old girl was found dead in a room there last Thursday morning. Police are investigating Morgan Myers's death as a homicide.

Many people have lived in the motel for months and even years. Residents said they worry finding housing could be difficult, especially on such short notice.

"I do have a legal history that makes it hard for me to rent," John Tobin, who has lived at the motel for four months, said.

Tenney said other residents have monetary concerns about moving. "The people that live here, that have been here, don't have the extra cash to move," she said.

However, Tenny says she is hopeful. "We're going to get out of here, we're going to live strong. And if we have to sleep in a vehicle for a couple of days then so be it," she said.