Woman describes staying in motel room where body was found

Published: Mar. 25, 2010 at 8:29 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 26, 2010 at 12:53 AM CDT
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By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Rhonda Sargent never imagined a dead body would be discovered in the motel room she and her husband rented from the Budget Lodge Inn in Memphis.

"I'm just at a shock, because I'm like, 'OK, I done laid on top of this lady's body,'" she said. "This is somebody's daughter...Mom...why didn't they investigate this fully?"

Sargent rented room 222 two days after Sony Millbrook was reported missing on January 27. Almost immediately, she noticed something a bit unusual.

"In the room when you sat on the bed by the night stand, you got this real foul odor that just hit you," she said.

Sargent didn't know where the smell was coming from, so she alerted the motel staff.  But no one came to check the room.  Police now believe Millbrook died the day she disappeared, and her body was hidden under a bed in room 222 entire time.  

"If police would have knocked on that door, I would have let them in with no problem, but nobody never told us anything," she said.

Room 222 was cleaned and rented out at least five times after the day Millbrook was last seen.

On the third day of her stay at Budget Lodge Inn, Sargent asked to be moved to another room.  She eventually stayed at another hotel for nearly a week, but then returned to Budget Lodge because it was cheaper.  

She spent at least one more night in room 222.

"We were sleeping in that bed, so it has spooked me," she said. "I really don't want to stay in another hotel with picking up stuff and looking up under it and everything."

So far, the Shelby County Medical Examiner hasn't released a cause of death in the Millbrook murder case.  Meanwhile, the Memphis Police Department has launched an internal investigation to see if mistakes were made in how the case was handled.

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