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Body found in hotel water tank identified as Canadian tourist

February 19, 2013 | 10:27 pm
Emergency personnel gather Tuesday on the roof of the Hotel Cecil on Main Street.  Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

A body found in a water tank atop a downtown hotel has been identified as a missing 21-year-old tourist from Canada, police said Tuesday night.

Investigators used body markings to determine that the body was that of Elisa Lam, said Officer Diane Figueroa of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The body was found Tuesday in the tank on the roof of the Hotel Cecil. Police said it was unclear how the body got in the tank. The grisly discovery was made after residents in the hotel complained of low water pressure.

Lam, of Vancouver, Canada, arrived in Los Angeles on Jan. 26 and was last seen Jan. 31 at the hotel at 640 S. Main St., police said. Lam's final destination was believed to be Santa Cruz. It was unclear why she was visiting California, authorities said.

Bernard Diaz, 89, a 32-year tenant of the Cecil, said he heard a "tremendous" noise the night before Lam was missing in the fourth floor above him.

He also said there was flooding on the fourth floor the day after Lam went missing.

"They said there was some obstruction to the drain between the third and fourth floor," Diaz said.

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— Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

Photo: Emergency personnel gather Tuesday on the roof of the Hotel Cecil on Main Street.  Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
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