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LA's Water Tank Woman cause of death determined

A 21-year-old woman whose body was found in a water tank of a Los Angeles hotel in February was the victim of an accidental drowning, medical examiners reported Thursday.

The decomposing body of Elisa Lam floated inside a water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel while guests brushed their teeth, bathed and drank water from it for as long as 19 days. A maintenance worker, checking on complaints about the hotel's water, found the Canadian tourist inside one of four water cisterns.

Tests conducted by the city Health Department found no harmful bacteria in the tank or the pipes, which had to be drained, flushed and sanitized after the discovery.

Los Angeles robbery-homicide detectives had treated the case as a suspicious death, since falling into a covered water tank behind a locked door on top of a roof would be an unusual accident, Los Angeles Police Sgt. Rudy Lopez said in February.

Lam checked into the Cecil Hotel on January 26, on her way to Santa Cruz, California, according to police in her hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Five days later, she was seen on a security camera video walking into the elevator, pushing the buttons for four floors and then peering out of the opened elevator door as if she is hiding or looking for someone.

Clad in a red hoodie, Lam at one point walks out of the elevator before returning to it, pushing the buttons again. She then stands outside the open elevator doorway, motioning with her hands, before apparently walking away. It was the last day Lam was seen.

Lam's parents reported the University of British Columbia student missing in early February. Her daily calls home stopped on January 31, police told reporters on February 6 at a Los Angeles news conference.

Strange things began happening with the hotel's water supply later in the month, according to Sabina and Michael Baugh, a British couple who spent eight days there. The water pressure dropped to a trickle at times.

"The shower was awful," Sabina Baugh said. "When you turned the tap on, the water was coming black first for two seconds and then it was going back to normal."

The tap water "tasted horrible," Baugh said. "It had a very funny, sweety, disgusting taste. It's a very strange taste. I can barely describe it."

But for a week, they never complained. "We never thought anything of it," she said. "We thought it was just the way it was here."

Two former guests, Steven and Gloria Cott, filed a class-action lawsuit against the hotel in late February.

The lawsuit claims the hotel effectively failed to meet its obligation to provide proper water.

"Instead, the defendants provided water that had been contaminated by human remains and was not fit for human ingestion or to use to wash," the lawsuit states, claiming the Cotts believe that water was "tainted."

by thought you'd like to knowreply 2106/21/2013

How can you accidentally fall into a water tank that is on a roof?

by thought you'd like to knowreply 106/21/2013

I'm sorry, but I just cant believe she decided to take a midnight swim in the hotel water tank and "acidently" drowned. I don't think any one, even if they were as crazy as the news has made her seem, would do something like that.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 206/21/2013

Jesus. I'm gonna throw up.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 306/21/2013

I agree, R1 and R2.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 406/21/2013

No pun intended, but it seems pretty fishy.

Well, maybe it was a little intentional.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 506/21/2013

I don't know. She looked pretty fucking crazy on that elevator footage.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 606/21/2013

Absurd. That's the L.A. Police for you. If you want to commit murder, go to L.A., you won't have a problem.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 706/21/2013

She appeared to be paranoid. I think she hid in the tank and drowned.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 806/21/2013

Did her family say she was schizophrenic or is this you, just assuming?

by thought you'd like to knowreply 906/21/2013

So, the workers there at the hotel/motel, must have realized that the water was wrong but they wait until they have numerous complaints before they hire someone, or get their lazy butts up there to check the tanks? First thing you would have thought was that there was a dead animal in the tanks but no, they'd rather let their visitors drink nasty water rather then make an effort to find the problem?

Fire all the lazy fuckers and sue the lazy owner.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1006/21/2013

I would guess she was probably murdered by someone who worked at the hotel and knew they could hide the body in the tanks.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1106/21/2013

[quote]I would guess she was probably murdered by someone who worked at the hotel and knew they could hide the body in the tanks.

She would have had to have been alive in order to drown.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1206/21/2013

r12, she could have been unconscious (drugged, for instance) and placed in the tank and drowned. There are drugs that are hard to detect in the system after death. Plenty of murders where they put the person in water to make it appear as a drowning.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1306/21/2013

Sorry but they said decomposed body. Now we all know the L.A. police will not investigate a murder unless they have someone to pin it on. God forbid they should actually have to investigate a case.

Remember that other California case...rich man, his girl friend's hands and feet were taped together and she was hung...what did the cops say? Suicide. There you go, California Police Departments...

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1406/21/2013

R14, and she was naked and outside. No way in hell anyone, especially a woman, would get naked to hang herself.

Oddly enough, she chose to kill herself soon after she was suspected of killing her bf's child.

The only people who weren't suspicious were L.A. LEO.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1506/21/2013

[quote]Steven and Gloria Cott

opportunist assholes

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1606/21/2013

How did her family put up with the decision to call it suicide, r15? If she had been my daughter...that rich man would be a very dead, rich man.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1706/21/2013

It's the usual "Well, since I'm a perfect parent queerness OBVIOUSLY must come from something different than a proper upbringing, and there MAY be a way for me to capitalize on it after all."

These transformed cunts don't fool me. They just keep embracing the same thing they always did - their own check books.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1806/21/2013

R18, you ok???

by thought you'd like to knowreply 1906/21/2013

I think R18 meant to post in the Mormon thread, R19.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 2006/21/2013

This is a weird case. When I read accounts of her "frantically pushing all the elevator buttons" and then saw the video where she, quite calmly and in no rush, just presses all the buttons, there was a disconnect.

by thought you'd like to knowreply 2106/21/2013
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