Body of Missing Tourist Found in Hotel Water Tank

LOS ANGELES — Police say that a body discovered inside a rooftop water tank at the Cecil Hotel is that of a missing Canadian tourist Elisa Lam.

Guests at the hotel in downtown Los Angeles had complained about weak water pressure, and at least one said there was flooding in a fourth-floor room.

Those complaints led a hotel maintenance worker on Tuesday to check on a large tank on the roof, where he found the body of a woman in her 20s at the bottom.

Authorities said late Tuesday that the body was that of Lam, 21, of Vancouver, Canada, who was last seen at the hotel on Jan. 31.

Police have provided few details about how the body might have ended up in the tank.

“We’re not ruling out foul play,” said LAPD Sgt. Rudy Lopez, noting that the location of the remains “makes it suspicious.”

A cause of death is still to be determined by county coroner’s officials, Lopez said.

Police searched the roof of the Cecil with the aid of dogs when Lam was reported missing about three weeks ago. Lopez said he didn’t know if the tanks were examined.

“We did a very thorough search of the hotel,” he said. “But we didn’t search every room; we could only do that if we had probable cause” that a crime had been committed.

According to detectives, Lam arrived in Los Angeles on Jan. 26.

She was traveling alone, but had been in contact with her parents daily before her disappearance.

It’s believed that her final destination was Santa Cruz, but her reasons for visiting California were unclear.

Lam was last seen inside the elevator of the hotel. Surveillance video shows her pushing buttons for multiple floors.

At one point, she steps out of the elevator and waves her arms. Police said taht a locked door that only employees have access to and a fire escape are the only ways to get on the roof.

The door is equipped with an alarm system that would notify the hotel that someone was up there, Lopez said.

Guests at the hotel were understandably shaken following the grim discovery.

Fire department officials said the tank where the body was found supplied the rooms with water for showers and sinks, as well as being used to clean the hotel’s linens.

The Department of Public Health took a water sample Tuesday and determined there was no biohazard.

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114 comments

      • actionjackson

        Thought you were CSI.

        But, still you seem to know too much.
        Does the LAPD know who you are?
        I personally think u still know too much details.
        Haven't seen any further newswire updates on this story,
        but will c if ur name is in the article?

  • kindlady1

    Too much crazy haenous stuff going on of late: Rogue cop goes ballistic, then the guy down in O.C flips out in a real "Grand Theft Auto" scenerio, Vegas shoot out, crash and burn, took more innocent lives. Is it too much High Fructose Syrup in the diets or what?

    • actionjackson

      In total agreement.

      Not enough virtues in current society.

      Did you read the article on an actual brutal murder, and some website obtained the video and was planning to post the video? Totally obscene.

      • kindlady1

        We've completely lost our Moral Compass. It's becoming more of a lawless and corrupt law society by the week. Maybe this is how the Fall of the Roman Empire started. Too much corruptness, meanness, “in it for myself”, not enough kindness, understanding. It's become a true ratrace. Very disturbing.

        • actionjackson

          What is sad is that I was looking at the KTLA website. Already this story is not front page anymore. There were 4 other murder related stories. Thus, less intervention by LAPD. Pretty sad for the family.

          And as a LA resident, the LA police are not the most cooperative: unless you live in Beverly Hills–where they will chase you down for driving while an orange street light is occurring, too many people in LA (and many do not have a cooperative agenda).

          What I find amazing is that there is nothing announced by the Cecil hotel, nor the Cecil staff regarding this tragedy.

          New motto for CECIL.

          Right downtown. Close to everything. Amazing water, you can even float in it.

  • CJP1994

    She is behaving like she was drugged. Someone may have spiked her drink with a date rape drug. Hopefully the autopsy will uncover something. Check out Rohypnol and notice that it is often used in nightclubs or raves. The way she was moving her hands, really seem to support this. And it causes vision problems that might explain why she was so close to the buttons and pressing them all, not being able to see the numbers correctly.

  • actionjackson

    The hotel had once been the occasional home to infamous serial killers such as Richard Ramirez, known as the Night Stalker, and Austrian prison author Jack Unterweger, who was convicted of murdering nine prostitutes in Europe and the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reported.

    Read it on Global News: Global BC | Missing Canadian woman's body found at L.A. hotel: foul play or accident?

    Amazing. The Cecil really attracts the scary group. Look at 2 former mass murderers were guest there.

    As you drive by on Main or Los Angeles, you see the Cecil building and wander what this archaic building is all about. It looks like a dungeon with windows, as you drive by.

  • OMG

    My humble and hypothetical speculation:
    Location of Elisa’s weird video, was at 12floor at the outset, pressed the ‘go down’ button.
    Check from this pic: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=498243428
    It showed the same brown colour of the lift lobby which matched with the one in Elisa’s weird video, make sense why she pressed the 14th floor button but it didn’t light up and why after she left the lift, the elevator continued to go down to lower floors.
    In this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zkukLsXdE0
    Obviously lift lobby of 14th floor is in green colour that doesn’t match the one in Elisa’s weird video.

    • actionjackson

      This OMG person is pretty creepy.

      I have problems remembering my bank account details for my internet accounts.

      Rare that someone knows so much, without being involved.

      Lets put a APB on OMG.

  • OMG

    Great! They said it’s a suicide case, a girl well prepared a ladder, then crawled herself up to a water tank of 3meters(six foot) high tank, opened the tank door, put her head down to the tank water (Tank width 1.3meter ), wheeled her body up then drown herself to death… ^^ A big joke! No doubt it’s a homicide case, an insider job! Anyone who’s willing to pay could purchase the keys that access to rooftop from any post hotel “key” personnels. I guess that she tried to hide on top of the tank and was pushed in or hanged up from the higher platform on right side by someones. Do you really think it would be easy to haul her dead body (weighing up to maybe 120 lbs) up a ladder and then stuff it inside one of those tanks?

    so there’re 2 possibilities:

    1 They shepherded her went up the top of the elevator engine room atop the cisterns by the red stairs at the right side. Raped and murdered her, throw her body down to tank door.

    2 They murdered her just roof floor and hauled up her body also by the red stairs at the right side of the elevator engine room, then throw her body down to tank door.

    3 They murdered her at her 4th floor hotel room, tried to clean up the room that caused a blood at 31st Jan also making nosies too! (told by Los Angeles Times article that quoted from an 89 years old man who has lived in the Cecil for 32 years.) Then hauled up her body also by the red stairs at the right side of the elevator engine room, throw her body down to tank door.