Debbie Moody was killed just feet from the front door of the Comfort Suites as she walked from her car to arrive just before 11pm for her overnight shift on the desk.
Comfort Suites spokesperson Peggy Franklin said, "This is very devastating to the entire company, especially the employees who worked close with Debbie."
Police tell Eyewitness news someone driving a dark or green SUV was possibly backing up when they struck Moody. Skid marks and a toppled park bench mark the spot where it happened. The driver fled.
Police are reviewing surveillance video from the hotel and surrounding businesses, hoping to find whoever is responsible.
La Porte Police Assistant Chief Steve Deardorf explained, "Maybe we can get a better lead on the vehicle, and the vehicle hopefully will lead us to the driver."
Investigators say had the driver just stopped, this may have been ruled an accident. But police say the law now considers this a crime.
"You have a duty upon striking anything to stay at the scene and render aid and call for help and give your information and it's against the law not to, which they clearly failed to do," Deardorf said.
Moody had worked at the hotel less than a year. In that time, she's said to have touched a number of lives.
Franklin said, "Words can't describe something that happens in your own backyard, especially to someone you were close to."
You're asked to call La Porte police at 281-471-2141 if you have any information which can help catch the killer.