What happened to Elisa Lam?

ELISA Lam died at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles in 2013 but mystery still surrounds her death.

The coroner deemed her strange death to be an accident although a number of theories have sprung up surrounding the case.

Who was Elisa Lam?

Elisa Lam, 21, was a college student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Lam headed on a West coast trip alone on January 26, 2013, via an Amtrak train from San Diego to Santa Cruz, California.

She made a pit stop in Los Angeles and decided to check in to the Cecil Hotel and was due to check out on January 31 but never did.

Her family, already wary that she was alone, decided to call the LAPD.

Cops searched the hotel but could not find Lam anywhere in the premises. 

Authorities then decided to review surveillance footage and realized that Lam had stepped into an elevator on the day of her disappearance. 

In the footage, Lam can be seen acting strangely as she steps into the elevator and begins pressing every button in the panel.

She eventually steps out and pokes her head out to see who is in the hallway and does that a few times until she decides to walk out completely. 

The last of the video shows her standing by the left side of the door waving her hands and making random gestures.

She is not seen talking to anyone and is the only one captured on tape. 

The video made the rounds on the internet and amassed over tens of thousands of views, as many found her behavior in equal parts strange and chilling. 

It was the last footage of Elisa alive.

What happened to her?

It is unclear how Elisa died. 

Authorities found no evidence of physical trauma in her autopsy report.

Additionally, the only notable findings in the toxicology report were multiple different medications to treat her bipolar disorder but there was no presence of alcohol or illegal drugs in her body at the time.

Only one person saw her prior to her death, a woman named Katie Orphan, the owner of The Last Bookstore, which Lam walked into and purchased presents to take to her family back home. 

“It seemed like [Lam] had plans to return home, plans to give things to her family members and reconnect with them,” Orphan told CBS LA.

An LA coroner issued a finding of accidental drowning, with bipolar disorder as a significant factor.

Who killed Elisa Lam?

While her death sparked curiosity among law enforcement officials, they never arrested anyone in connection with the case and it was officially documented as accidental. 

There were never any suspects tied to her death or her disappearance. 

maintenance worker Santiago Lopez found Lam’s body floating in one of the hotel’s water tanks.

Lopez discovered her body on February 19, 2013, after several hotel guests had complained about low water pressure and a weird taste in the tap water.

According to the Los Angeles Fire department, the tank in which Lam was found had to be drained completely and cut in order to fit her body inside of it. 

She was discovered wearing the same clothes she had on in the elevator surveillance footage and her body barely had blood due to the decomposition. 

Lam also had all her personal belongings and her room card with her, floating near her lifeless body. 

What are the theories behind Elisa Lam's death?

A new Netflix series claims it will reveal the truth behind the disappearance of the Canadian student.

Numerous theories have been shared on internet forums about how she came to such a grisly end.

Murder, malevolent spirits, government conspiracies, suicide and illegal drugs have all been put forward as explanations.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel has delved into Lam’s death – and the history of the place where she died.

When university student Elisa booked her stay at the Cecil Hotel eight years ago she didn’t realise that it was in a place where drug addicts, killers, prostitutes and chancers felt right at home.

Among the killers to have lived in the LA hotel were serial killer Richard Ramirez, who was known as the Nightstalker.

Amy Price, who was manager at the time of Elisa’s stay in 2013, said: “While I worked there, there were thousands of 911 calls.

“When the maintenance manager gave me a tour he would say ‘suicide in this room,’ ‘guest died there.’

“You just never knew what was going to happen on any given day.”

Following the discovery of Lam's body web sleuths came up with a series of theories.

One was that it was a copycat murder of the Jennifer Connelly and Tim Roth horror film Dark Water.

In the 2005 movie discoloured water comes out of hotel taps and a little girl falls into the water tank on the top of the building.

There was also speculation that Elisa’s death was linked to an outbreak of TB in Skid Row at that time.

Lam-Elisa is the name for a type of TB test and she studied at Columbia University where there is a tuberculosis research centre.

Various internet commentators cried “Government conspiracy”.

Another much discussed theory was that death metal musician Morbid was behind it, because he’d stayed at the hotel and his lyrics included a girl dying in water.

But Morbid, real name Pablo Vergara, said: “I was in Mexico recording my album at the time she went missing.

“I received death threats every day. There was no escape. I tried to take my life and I woke up in a psychiatric hospital.”

Others suspected evil spirits because Elisa had been seen talking to someone who wasn’t visible.

Kim, who accepts the hotel has ‘unusual energy’, has a more down to earth theory.

She explained: “I think she was in the throes of a delusion.

“If she turned out of the bookstore where she was last seen and went right she would have hit two large pharmacies and would have run into people selling prescription pills.

“One of the things she might have sought out is ambien. The eyes of users are open, but they are in a dream state.”

The pathologist found no illegal drugs in Elisa’s blood stream or signs of violence.

In the past Elisa had experienced visions as part of her mental health issues and had once been hospitalised.

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