Salt Lake police are investigating the death of a man who was a resident at the Regis Hotel, 249 S. State.

Police initially thought Alberto Vence, 36, had committed suicide but now believe he was murdered, Salt Lake Police Lt. Phil Kirk said.Vence's body was found in his room about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday by a housekeeper and a part-time desk clerk, who also live in the downtown hotel.

He apparently died from multiple stab wounds and had been dead for several days when he was found Tuesday, Kirk said. An autopsy was being conducted by the state medical examiner to determine the exact cause and time of death, he said.

"The last time (the victim) was seen alive was Saturday," Kirk said.

Hotel resident and desk clerk Ted Backman opened the door to Room C54 and found the man he knew as "Al" slumped against the wall Tuesday.

"I went to check on him because somebody said they hadn't seen him for a few days. I opened the door, saw him and then closed the door real fast," Backman said. "I didn't want Pat (the housekeeper) to see it."

Vence had lived in the hotel for about a year, Backman said.

Backman said he and other hotel residents didn't see or hear anything suspicious near "Al's" room.