Body of missing Canadian Elisa Lam found in L.A. hotel’s drinking water tank

by Emily Senger

Water tanks seen on the roof of the Hotel Cecil on Wednesday Feb. 20, 2013. (Nick Ut/AP)

The decomposing body of Vancouver woman Elisa Lam, 21, has been found floating in a Los Angeles hotel water tank, weeks after she was last seen on Jan. 31.

A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson told CTV British Columbia that officers were trying to determine whether the young woman had been murdered or if this was “a very, very strange accident.” An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

A hotel maintainance worker found a body Tuesday morning when he went up to the four rooftop water tanks to check on why water pressure in the hotel was low. The body was later identified as Lam.

Elisa Lam. (Los Angeles Police Department/AP)

Meanwhile, hotel guests have been ordered not to drink the water as heath officials test the hotel’s water to ensure it is safe.

It appeared that Lam’s body had been in the water tank for at least two weeks, as guests used the water for drinking, brushing teeth and showering.

“The water did have a funny taste,” Sabrina Baugh, a guest at the hotel told CNN.

A police spokesperson said they had already searched the roof of the Cecil Hotel using dogs when Lam was first reported missing, but he could not say whether police had looked in the water tanks, reports the L.A. Times.

The door to the roof of the hotel was locked and only staff had access to the keys, reports the Times. It could also be accessed via the fire escape.

Police released surveillance video of Lam inside a hotel elevator to the public last week, in hopes of gaining new information. The two-minute video shows Lam acting strangely, pushing all of the elevator buttons and, at one point, stepping out of the elevator and waving her arms.




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Body of missing Canadian Elisa Lam found in L.A. hotel’s drinking water tank

  1. they should question all the staff, especially the maintenance people, who had the access to the rooftop. It´s all very strange, mainly Elisa´s odd behaviour in the elevator. Seems either she was waiting for someone in there (and she knew her killer), or she was drugged and accidentially drownded. Or is there any other possible explanation? The weird waving of the hands….seems odd.

  2. Stoned out of her mind on some drugs then fell into the tank? Looks like some hypoallergenic stuff, shes looking out for someone and not sure whats shes doing, then her fear of whoever or whatever she was looking for is gone instantly. This girl was high on some madness.

  3. She’s as high as hell in that video…

  4. hallucinogenic is what i meant haha damn spell check.

    • Yep, made me lol, Johnny!

  5. Possible pyschotic break, which may have led to paranoia; causing her to “hide” in the water tank.

  6. That video is weird… It was probably an accident judging by her behavior.

  7. Why nobody noticed the elevtor door was never closed??? A normal evelotor should be attemping to close the door more thenb3 times during the video. someone had it stuck open.

  8. Obviously high on drugs with those arm movements. No one would do that sober.

  9. I think the killer befriended Elisa, drugged her in his room but he got distracted and she managed to escape. She got to the eternally slow elevator but he found her and managed to lure her back and killed her. He may even have drowned her in his apartment and then put her in the tank. Or tricked her into getting inn herself. He is very knowledgable and careful about things like where cameras are and water tanks. He may even have lured her to the US. But it could have simply been an opportunity. Hey, hope they checked the other water tanks.

  10. 1408?
    maybe she was trapped like in the 1408 movie.

  11. I wouldn’t necessarily contribute her behaviour to being drugged. It looks to me like she can’t figure out why the door isn’t closing and pressed every button thinking that one must close it. As for the waving of the hands, perhaps attempting to trigger a sensor that closes it? A form of mental illness would be more likely to explain her anxious behaviour. And is possibly what led her to the water tank.

    • Attribute, Sammy – attribute.

      You’re welcome.

  12. High as a kite

    • …..by then.

      ~Sir Elton~

  13. Sycodic break or drugged. What a shame. I feel for her family. The way she was found is nasty.

    • Sycodic – Nice!

      I’m stealing that one from you for personal use!

      And I agree – it’s a harsh reality.

    • Hmmm, sycodic. I like that. “Psychotic” is retarded anyway. I vote for sycotic.

  14. It’s clear it’s an old elevator being held open by someone in the hallway, out of the camera’s view, who is pressing the elevator button to keep it open. Ms. Lam is clearly frightened by whomever is in the hallway, who is not allowing her to leave. That is why that no matter which of the buttons she is pressing inside the elevator, the elevator cannot go anywhere unless the elevator button on the outside is released. At one point, she is in the hallway, waving her arms, telling the one who is detaining her to allow her to use the elevator. Her mistake was to ultimately leave the elevator and enter the hallway one last time, when she should have remained in the elevator and start to scream in order to bring attention to her untenably dangerous situation. Her assailant was aware of the camera in the elevator and had the ability to access the rooftop where the water towers are located. I believe her killer is a male hotel employee. Ms. Lam was not on drugs and was not stoned — unlike some of you who have left your remarks on this thread.

    • and maybe she needed glasses for bad eyesight and she left her room in a hurry and didnt grab contacts/glasses so she walked into the elevator and had to get so close to the buttons and pressed all/any…

      • …and, according to your version of events, bob, her eyesight was so bad, that as she hurried back to her room to grab her contacts/glasses, she took a wrong turn by walking up the hotel fire escape on to the rooftop, and then climbed up a water tower ladder, removed a heavy lid, and accidently slipped into it where she drowned because she was a non-swimmer. You should change your username to boob, bob.

  15. why doesn’t the elevator door close during all that time?

  16. Drugs are bad, mmkay.
    Looks like everyone had a little taste of Elisa broth.

    • Tasted like Lam.

      Annnnnnnd my apologies, in advance – that was baaaaad.

  17. Here is from CSI

    1. Murdered before drowning – you can find out from the water in the lung
    2. Drugged – you can find out from the hair
    ———————-

    Hunted, and walked up to die?

    Drugged herself and walked up to die?

    Murdered and carried up to dump?

    1. Date on the video tape from the Elevator
    2. Date last seen Jan.31 , is there daily room service in that hotel?
    3. Autopsy reveals that she were there for many? days
    ———————- Jan.31 were the date that she were murdered? Otherwise,

    She were kidnapped and hided, then carried up from the fire stair in late day

    1. In other occupied room( Hotel Guess)
    2. In other vacant room? (Hotel Employee or someone hijack a room.)
    3. Carry to the Car and bring back to the hotel ? NOOOO.
    ————————Jan.31 last seen, Feb 6 were found ( 7 days )

    Someone murdered her
    —————— do your job LAPD

    1. Hotel Guest in that floor
    2. Hotel Employee
    3.

    No Ghost- the ghost don’t party just every 30 years
    No Drugs- come on

  18. If someone is chasing you and you successfully escaped into the elevator, then by pressing all the buttons, the chaser won’t know which floor you are leaving the elevator and thus escaped. Maybe she pressed them all for this purpose.

    This seemed more reasonable when you focused on the first 30sec. Her act seemed to expect the elevator to close the door by itself. The first thought one would have is someone’s holding the door. She did a quick peek rather than calmly checking outside, and then hid behind the panel. These facts showed she’s frightened by something outside the elevator.

    Her strange act outside the elevator could be a negotiation with someone outside the camera view, who’s the one causing the incident.

  19. she did not necessarily know the last button was the hold button,, she did not have her glasses on and just remembered her floor button was in middle row prompting her to hit every one (or to avoid who ever was following her knowing which floor she got off),, she was not nervous at first because persons following her were at a distance still and she expected the door would close in time,, when it didn’t she attempted to hide in corner,,at 0:53 she is clearly startled (my opinion sees weapon), second perp has come around from opposite direction to corner her, both knew better than too be seen by camera in elevator,,,from this point on she attempts to follow directions (weird stepping around movements, due perhaps to not being able to understand exactly what she is being told to do (heavy accent?)).. she attempts to beg person on the right for mercy (hand motions).

  20. No she wasn’t high. The autopsy reports revealed NO drugs in her system so that wasn’t the case. The detective did say that she was bipolar so maybe that had something to do with it.

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