Student's Water Tank Drowning Ruled Accidental Despite Creepy Elevator Behavior

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

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eupeptic eupeptic

It was not accidental, and it was not a murder. Her soul wanted to help create a greater awareness for mentally ill people (so more and better treatments will become available and so that more people become willing to help themselves by seeking treatment for mental disorders). As such, she received spiritual guidance that enabled everything to occur that wouldn't normally have occurred (such as her behavior on camera, the elevator malfunctioning, the door to the roof being unlocked for her, the tank being opened for her, her being lifted into it [the video "Poltergeist Activity - 9SEP2011-NQGHOSTHUNTER" {linked) on YouTube shows a guy being lifted using spiritual energy, though in that case it was intended to appear as though a ghost was the one causing that when it was actually the guy's spirit guide along with another spirit that the guy's soul trusts doing that in a manner which was controlled to be safe enough for the guy {over a bed so he wouldn't be hurt on the way down}], and her soul being separated from her body [which was what the soul who reincarnated into her body wanted - she was not a victim of the actions of anyone else] before she would have begun inhaling water) and that she couldn't have done herself. (My spirit guide contributed the details that I described above as he knows exactly what occurred.)

nonmember avatar Sue

Watching her cautiously peer out of the elevator, it certainly seems like maybe she's worried that she's being followed.

But I think maybe when the doors wouldn't close, it triggered a meltdown.I found her hand gestures strange. Maybe that was her way of self soothing herself.

I don't believe she was murdered and I do find eupeptic's comment above fascinating.

Sue Rissel

One word comes to mind, well, two:  possible misdiagnosis.  I wonder if she was schizophrenic and suffering.  I don't mean to sound mean, but that's what came to mind.  It is sad no matter how you look at it.

Courtney Wild

Since I have worked and lived with people who have BPD, I find your "seems unlikely" very inaccurate.

danit... danithegreat

Anyone else think of the movie/story 1408 by Stephen King when reading about all the other creepy stuff that happened there?

youth... youthfulsoul

I'm not surprised she was listed as bipolar, although it is very sad.

nonmember avatar Dave

As someone who has followed the details of this case very closely since it happened, I can tell you that you're making a lot of assumptions about the events of the case and the finding of the coroner. Just as one example, no authority figure has ever suggested that a "manic episode made her paranoid to the point where she hid herself in the tank." You're adding in your own narrative there. They simply stated that there is no evidence for foul play, and all of the clues indicate that she is responsible for crawling into the tank. We cannot presume to understand what her motive was, or if it was even logical enough to be called a 'motive.' The general public's view of this event is limited. They have a lot of information we don't have, and just because the trappings of this case are "creepy" doesn't change the basic facts of their finding: a girl did something dangerous and accidentally died, most likely due to a bipolar psychosis. Period. Any other interpretations you might make about the elevator video, the other facts of the case, or the coroner's findings are based on nothing but your own assumptions (which in turn are based on very limited information, if this blog entry is any indication).

CadesMum CadesMum

Sounds like someone got away with murder

nonmember avatar cindy

She looks like shes high. Meth probably, maybe Lsd. Shes paranoid. If she was scared and being followed, why would she not run off when the elevator didnt work? It just dosent look like she was running in fear, or even trying to hide.

Tony Collins


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