Official: Woman accidentally drowned in LA hotel water tank
By Stephanie Slifer
/ CBS NEWS
The body of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old missing Canadian tourist, was found on Feb. 19, 2013 wedged in a water tank on the roof of a downtown Los Angeles hotel, police said. A maintenance worker at the Cecil Hotel found the body after guests complained of low water pressure. Lam traveled to California alone on Jan. 27, 2013 from Vancouver, British Columbia. She was last seen by hotel employees on Jan. 31, 2013. Lam was traveling to Santa Cruz, about 350 miles north of Los Angeles, and officials said she tended to use public transportation.
On June 20, 2013, authorities confirmed Lam accidentally drowned and ruled her death an accident. Coroner's Lt. Fred Corral said the body had no signs of trauma indicating foul play. Lam also had bipolar disorder.
Elisa Lam is seen here in an undated photo.
The Los Angeles Police Department released surveillance video of Elisa Lam prior to the discovery of her body. The video, which was taken at the Los Angeles hotel where she was last seen, shows Lam -- in an elevator -- acting bizarrely, CBS Los Angeles reported. According to the station, it looks like she might be hiding from someone, but she doesn't look scared. Alex Martinez of the LAPD says,
Twenty-one-year-old Elisa Lam seen in a surveillance image released by the Los Angeles Police Department. The video was taken at the Los Angeles hotel where she was last seen.
CBS Los Angeles reported Lam's parents flew to Los Angeles to aid in the investigation. They declined to make a public comment. Lam was reportedly in contact with her parents every day leading up to her disappearance.
Elisa Lam's body was discovered in a water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif. at about 10 a.m. on Feb. 19, 2013. Officials spent much of the day struggling to remove it from the water tank.
The hotel where Elisa Lam's body was discovered is located in downtown Los Angeles. The area has long struggled against the creeping destitution of nearby Skid Row, where drug addiction and homelessness is rampant.
Lam was last seen by staff at the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2013.