Remember that story about the 21-year-old Canadian tourist who was found dead inside a rooftop water tank in a Los Angeles hotel? Her death was so creepy because minutes before she must have died, Elisa Lam was seen in the hotel's elevator acting very strangely. Video surveillance of her behavior went viral as people tried to figure out what was going on. Was she being followed? Was she talking to someone? Was she hiding from someone? Had someone rigged the elevator to not close so she'd have to take the stairs, where she was then attacked? When she was later found stuffed inside a water tank on top of a locked rooftank, it seemed obvious that she must have been killed. But get this. The death of Elisa Lam has been ruled accidental.
The L.A. coroner's office has declared this very unusual death to be accidental drowning -- which means that Lam somehow and for some reason decided to crawl into the hotel's rooftop water tank, where she then drowned. Previous reports had said the roof was always locked -- maybe that was a misstatement. Reportedly the tank itself was unlocked.
But Lam's behavior in the elevator right before she died certainly shows a woman in deep distress. But not exactly suicidal. It really does appear she is frightened that someone is following her. And has anyone ever figured out why the elevator doors wouldn't close?
I'm totally baffled as to why this death was considered accidental -- but it's been months since Lam was found, so presumably the police and coroner's office have put some time into it. Her family too must be stunned and somewhat disbelieving at this news.
Lam was described as being bipolar -- could some sort of manic episode made her paranoid to the point where she hid herself in the tank? Seems unlikely. But being bipolar was listed as a "significant condition" on her death certificate.
The hotel has a checkered and strange history. Serial killer Richard Ramirez, who just died in prison, lived for several months at the hotel. Another time, a woman jumped from her hotel window, killing herself and a pedestrian.
Do you believe this was an accident? Here's Elisa's elevator video before she died. What do you think was happening here?
Image via YouTube