The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam -Unsolved Mystery

Note that the following content may not be suitable for all readers. Also, I mean no disrespect to the victim or her family.

I see this blog as a physical manifestation of my mind, and so I have to be honest and say that although my mind is full of baking recipes and Jane Austen, there is also a part of it that has a morbid curiosity to unsolved mysteries. I have decided to share with you one of the first mysteries I ever learned about, and if this post does well then I will make it into a bit of a series and regularly post cases! I chose this case as it is not too scary or creepy, however let me know down below if you would rather some cases like that. This is the story of the mysterious death of Elisa Lam.

On the 19th February 2013, the Cecil Hotel staff received a number of complaints that the water from their sinks or showers was not flowing, or when it did it was dark and tasted bad. The maintenance workers went up to the water tank on the roof to identify the cause of the problem, when they found the body of 21-year-old Elisa Lam. Elisa was a Canadian student on a trip to Los Angeles by herself. She had actually been reported missing at the start of the month, but no one suspected that she would endear the fate that she did.

There are many suspicious elements to the Elisa Lam case which suggest that this was not a cut-and-dry suicide, and why it is still under investigation 6 years on. The first reason is because no one can work out how Elisa got into the water tank in the first place. To get up to the roof where the tanks are would mean accessing fire doors which could only be opened using a staff key, but no staff keys were found around Elisa or anywhere on the roof, and none were reported missing. Elisa could not have opened the door herself without an alarm being sounded. Additionally, the tank itself is 2.4m high, and has an extremely heavy lid. The maintenance workers had to use ladders to get up to the tank and more than one of them had to help open the tank- there is no way a small 21-year-old woman is going to be able to do that herself. Her clothes were found outside the tank, along with her watch and room keys. Elisa’s phone that she used regularly was never found. There were no signs of drugs, a lot of alcohol or any sexual contact with Elisa.

The reason why this case blew up and became so widely talked about is because the police released a rather bizarre security video, which is the last known footage of Elisa. In the video, which I will link to below, Elisa appears to be hiding and then talking to an unseen person outside of a lift. It is widely agreed that Elisa was not acting “normally”, as she looks distressed and is walking in and out the lift and pressing all the buttons. People blame her Bipolar Disorder on this behaviour, yet psychologists claim that these actions would not be caused by that disorder, and her family agreed that she did not ever act like that in the past. As I have stated before, no drugs and very little alcohol was found in her system, so these would not have been the cause for the behaviour either.

The actual cause of Elisa Lam’s death is drowning, but the autopsy report has marked the reason (ie suicide, homicide, natural, etc) as ‘Undetermined’. Was Elisa murdered? Was she suffering from a mental disorder that caused her to go into the tank? How did she even get into the tank with no assistance? I would love to hear what you guys think below, and if you would like for me to continue sharing some unsolved mysteries with you.

From Evie

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