The body of Lisa Lam, the 21-year-old Canadian tourist who had been missing since January 31, was found yesterday in the rooftop water tank of a downtown Los Angeles, California, hotel. After complaints about water pressure and leaks came from the Hotel Cecil guests, the staff went and checked the 4 water tanks on the roof. Once the body was found, firefighters were brought in for the removal, which was a delicate process. Elisa's body was found at 10 a.m. but it took most of the day to carefully get her out in order to allow for coroners to examine the body. According to a police spokesperson, investigators used body markings to identify Lam.
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Elisa travelled alone to Los Angeles, California, from Vancouver on January 27. This is not the first time she ventured out by herself. She kept in contact with her family until she disappeared 4 days later. Elisa's family and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reached out to the LAPD about her disappearance. Though Los Angeles sees about 3,200 missing person cases every year, Lam's vanishing was being handled differently because of her Canadian nationality. Homicide officials were brought in for this one. The day that she disappeared, Lam was planning on traveling to Santa Cruz and set to check out of her hotel. Elevator surveillance footage was released due to a lack of leads in the case. The video shows the young woman acting out of sorts on the night she was last seen. As she slowly enters the elevator, Lam seemingly steadies herself and presses many of the buttons. At each of the floors that the elevator stops, Elisa examines the hallways before getting back into the elevator. It should be mentioned that this hotel is located on Los Angeles' infamous Skid Row, notorious for drug users and countless homeless people.
Now that her body has been discovered, investigators are trying to figure how she got up there and whether this is a homicide or "a very strange accident." There is limited access to the roof including an alarm system set to go off with the entrance being opened, but the water tanks themselves are not locked. No comment has come from the Hotel Cecil in regards to the discovery of Elisa Lam's body. According to firefighters, even though the water tank had a dead body in it, there is no danger to hotel guests.