| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Feb 22 The autopsy of a 21-year-old
Canadian student found dead in a water tank atop a historic Los
Angeles hotel turned up no fatal wounds, offering no clear
answers to her puzzling last days and death, coroner's officials
said on Friday.
The inconclusive finding means that further tests must be
conducted to determine a cause of death for Elisa Lam, who went
missing from the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles under
suspicious circumstances in late January.
Lam's body was found floating in one of four large water
tanks on the hotel's roof on Tuesday after guests complained of
low water pressure in their rooms. Health officials have issued
a do-not-drink order for hotel water until it is tested.
Police have said that detectives had been hoping the autopsy
would help determine if her death was the result of an accident
or foul play.
"They didn't find any bullet holes, they didn't find any
stab wounds to my knowledge. So then you've got to go to the
next step," Los Angeles County Coroner's spokesman Ed Winter
He said coroner's investigators would conduct toxicology
tests to establish if Lam was on any medication at the time of
her death and if it was at therapeutic levels. Her organs will
also be studied to determine if she suffered from any medical
"You see if in fact there were any heart issues, did she die
of hypothermia, did she drown," said Winter. "Were her lungs
filled with water?"
Lam, a college student from Vancouver, British Columbia, was
last seen by staff at the hotel on Jan. 31 and detectives had
characterized her disappearance as suspicious. She had been
traveling alone but in regular contact with her family in
Police say the reason for Lam's visit to Southern California
was unclear but that her final destination was expected to have
been Santa Cruz in central California.
Security video taken in an elevator of the hotel and
released by police last week showed her acting strangely, hiding
in a corner, pushing multiple buttons and repeatedly peering
around the elevator doors into a hallway.
Her body was discovered in one of the four large,
cylindrical tanks supplying water to guest rooms at the art deco
hotel, which was built in the 1920s and is considered a local
Local public radio KPCC reported that the hotel has had dark
chapters in its long history, including murders in the '20s and
'30s and a woman who leapt from a window in the 1960s.
The radio station said that two serial killers were known to
have stayed there in the 1980s: Richard Ramirez, known as the
"Night Stalker," and Austrian murderer Jack Unterweger.
Firefighters removed the remains by cutting through the side
of the tank under a canopy that shielded them from news
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Dan