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Woman killed at Gold Coast hotel had been busted for prostitution

Rachel Baugh her husbBrian take their luggage leaves Whitehall Hotel 105 E. Delaware Monday August 13 2012.  They were

Rachel Baugh and her husband, Brian take their luggage and leaves the Whitehall Hotel at 105 E. Delaware, Monday, August 13, 2012. They were in Chicago from Cincinnati, celebrating their anniversary on Tuesday, August 14, 2012. When they heard a woman was found dead inside one of the guest rooms, they turned around and left. | Dom Najolia~Sun-Times

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Updated: September 16, 2012 6:15AM



Detectives are investigating whether a Dallas woman’s “high-risk lifestyle” figured into her murder in a Gold Coast luxury hotel, police sources said Tuesday.

Brianna Gardner, 22, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head at 10 a.m. Monday in a room in the Whitehall Hotel at 105 E. Delaware Pl.

Court records show Gardner was arrested on a prostitution charge five days ago in Chicago. She was on the sidewalk soliciting men in cars and on foot at about 3:20 a.m. on Aug. 8 at 25 W. Hubbard, police said.

She also was charged with prostitution in April in Harris County, Texas.

Police said they have not established a motive for her slaying, but are investigating whether it’s tied to her alleged involvement in prostitution.

Housekeeping staff at the boutique hotel found Gardner’s body in a seventh-floor room.The killing shocked patrons of the Whitehall — hailed as one of the “great small hotels in the United States.”

In October 2011, a Wisconsin woman arrested for prostitution was found stabbed to death at the Felix Hotel, another boutique hotel in River North.

Police said the investigation into Sarai Michaels’ murder was closed with an arrest and the case does not appear to be connected to the Gardner killing. Christopher Love, 23, of Chicago was charged with murder and soliciting a prostitute in Michaels’ killing.



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