Man found dead under mattress in Midtown hotel room identified; case labelled homicide

WABC logo
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Police have identified the man found dead early Monday inside a Midtown Manhattan hotel room.

The victim was 28-year old Roderick Goodwin of Bridgeton, NJ, and authorities have classified the case as a homicide.

Goodwin was found in the room by security at the Hilton Garden Inn at West 35th Street just after 4 a.m.

A security guard noticed the room door open. When he went to investigate, he found the victim unresponsive under a mattress.

The man had sustained trauma to the back of his head. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The cause of death is multiple blunt force trauma and homicidal asphyxia.

No arrests were immediately made.

Police say a woman and three men had been in his room, and other guests heard screaming.

The victim is said by police officials to be a pimp.

Goodwin had stayed at a different hotel every night in the days before his death, authorities said; one night at a hotel in the Bronx, another hotel in Manhattan and then at the Hilton Garden Inn Sunday night.

According to investigators, he would traditionally send prostitutes out to work and then they would return to the hotel with the money they made during the night.

Detectives believe a prostitute brought three male accomplices back to the hotel room to rob Goodwin, who was known to carry thousands of dollars in cash.

He was killed in the process of the robbery, police said. The prostitute and her three male accomplices then fled.

Several thousands of dollars believed to have been in the possession of the victim were missing at the time his body was found by hotel security.

"We've identified six people, including the victim. We are trying to define exactly what it was," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. "It's part of a robbery and a certain criminal situation. We're not ready to give out too much more than that because we have people to speak to right now. A safe was taken from the room. We don't know the contents of that safe."

The 298-room hotel, blocks from the Empire State Building, is near Herald Square and Pennsylvania Station, in a part of midtown Manhattan bustling with both tourists and business travelers.

(Some information from the Associated Press.)