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Elisa Lam found dead on LA hotel rooftop


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A body found on the roof of a downtown Los Angeles hotel has been identified as missing Vancouverite Elisa Lam.

LAPD Officer Diana Figueroa told CTV News late Tuesday that officials confirmed the identity through body markings.

The 21-year-old University of British Columbia student went missing on January 31, and was last seen at the Cecil Hotel, near the city's notorious skid row.

On Tuesday, Lam’s body was discovered in one of the hotel’s four water tanks by a maintenance worker after investigating complaints about low water pressure, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Videotape released by police after Lam’s disappearance showed the young woman acting strangely in the hotel elevator the night she was last seen.

The two-minute security tape footage showed Lam pressing buttons for multiple floors in the elevator before she darts out quickly, looking side-to-side before moving her arms around wildly.

Her reason for going to California is unclear, but authorities say Lam intended to travel to Santa Cruz as her final destination, which is about 563 kilometres north of Los Angeles.

Police suspect foul play in her disappearance.

Investigators say Lam was in daily contact with her family in Vancouver until she vanished. She never checked out of the hotel.

The last people to see Lam, a hostess and desk clerk at the hotel, said they never saw her with anyone else.

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Man, that video is sorta difficult to watch. Normally I couldn't care less about this sort of news story, but I'm sorta curious as to what the toxicology reports suggest, or if she was trying to communicate with someone there.

Strange behaviour either way.

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That video was creepy.. Can't make out what's happening. At first she seems like shes on some kind of drug just by her behaviour, then something just starts looking very suspicious when she's peering left and right, leaning up against the elevator walls. And WTF, why were the doors not closing? Something is up with that too. Then the signing thing or whatever she's doing looks kind of directed at someone.. but I have no idea. This was all very strange and creepy to watch.


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The only thing that's suspicious to me is how she got on the roof, most places have security locks to prevent access to anyone but a VERY specific few. Other than that, you can very plainly see she is tripping, she looks scared at one part, then looks like she's smiling, steps outside the elevator and gestures back inside the elevator and then gesturing at random, then starts screwing around with all the buttons like she's a five year old playing with them. I'm interested as to specifically what was wrong with her.

As for the post above mine that wonders why the doors weren't closing, she was stepping through them repeatedly then steps outside the doors to her left what looks like might be in front of an elevator button (facing elevator door from the outside elevator buttons tend to be on the right), with her back to it and hands behind her back possibly pushing the button to keep it open.

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This has hit us really hard (my Dad, in particular, is terribly upset over this story) ... that video of her in what appears to be a state of absolute panic/distress just makes my heart sink. So horrible.

My own daughter shares a similar story and just went to San Fran/LA, etc. on her own. She left to get away from some obstacles here that have impeded her progress (she is suffering from anxiety and depression). She has friends down there, and daily check ins become the only piece of mind a parent has...to lose contact would be a nightmare. I can only imagine what these parents are going through - my sincere and heartfelt thoughts are with them.

I really wonder what was happening in that video...although some were quick to identify "drugs", her actions to me spoke of desperation. Like she felt threatened and maybe heard someone coming? Was trying to frantically prevent them from accessing the elevator and then they used the stairs?

Just awful. I cried when I watched that clip and was so pulling for a happy ending. :(

And, in seeing some of the comments - we should reserve judgement of "she was high/drunk" until this is proven. People with panic disorders also can exhibit some of these behaviors and depression and anxiety can go hand in hand. If she was completely traumatized by something, the hand gestures just may have been attributed to her running through scenarios in her mind. Sure, it does look like drugs, but I don't think jumping to conclusions is fair.

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Drugs seems to be the most obvious conclusion, since it'll be very strange to be afraid of someone(s) and not contact the police.

It's not like she's in some strange foreign country and with a completely different language. She's in California, which uses English and they also use 911. It's also unlikely she wouldn't have the means to contact the authorities, with cellphones being mandatory for traveling, the emergency button in the elevator and/or front-desk, etc.

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