Autopsy Fails to Find Los Angeles Tank Death Cause

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  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — An autopsy on a Canadian tourist’s body failed to determine whether she was killed or died accidentally in a giant water cistern on top of a downtown Los Angeles hotel roof.

    The results were inconclusive, so coroner’s officials said Thursday they will have to wait for toxicological tests to determine a cause of death for Elisa Lam, 21, of Vancouver, British Columbia.

    Police have called her death suspicious.

    Lam’s body was found Tuesday in one of several water cisterns on top of the 600-room hotel near Skid Row.

    The hotel has retained a consultant who submitted a plan to sanitize the water lines that will be retested before they are put back into operation, said Angelo Bellomo, the county’s director of environmental health.

    Only water for toilets is flowing for hotel guests who chose to stay at the hotel. Most have made other arrangements.

    Guest complaints about low water pressure prompted a maintenance worker to make the gruesome discovery.

    Before she died, hotel surveillance footage showed her inside an elevator pushing buttons and sticking her head out the doors, looking in both directions.

    Water tested from the hotel didn’t contain any live bacteria that would cause illness.

    County health officials issued a do-not-drink order, but results that came back Thursday indicated the water was safe from a “microbiological standpoint,” Bellomo said.

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