Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Publication: Historical Archives. Posted by
Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
The last anyone saw of Elisa Lam (captured by an elevator security camera) before her body was found in a hotel's rooftop water tank
When it comes to mysterious disappearances, some people are never found. Then, you have stories like the one about Elisa Lam, which have tragic endings where the discovery leaves a lot of questions remaining.
Lam was raised near Vancouver, Canada and a student at the University of British Columbia at the time of her disappearance in January of 2013. Lam had checked into the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, where she had been staying with roommates. According to the hotel, she was moved to her own room after a couple of days after displaying some strange behavior, which caused some concern with those in the hotel.
Lam had gone missing before at one point in her life after being diagnosed with mental health issues that included bipolar disorder, but medications were keeping her in check and she had never displayed any suicidal tendencies. There were some signs on the internet through her website and social media that something was wrong, which led some people to assume that her disappearance was indeed a suicide.
On the night of January 31, 2013, though, Lam was not returning calls or text messages from her parents after checking out of the Cecil Hotel. She had said that she was planning to head to Santa Cruz, California, but was spotted by a woman still near the Cecil Hotel that managed a bookstore close to the building. The woman said that Lam seemed to be in great spirits, and was buying gifts for family members, making it seem that she wouldn’t possibly go missing on purpose.
When she didn’t return any of the calls or texts, Lam’s parents contacted the LAPD and came to the city themselves to help in the search. Police officers searched the rooms where Lam had been staying in, and even went on the rooftop, but couldn’t find any trace of Lam. There were some that were critical that not every room was searched, but the officers didn’t have probably cause to go through all of the rooms at the Cecil.
Several days had passed by and there was still no sign of Lam. The search party expanded to cover more area, and released a video pertaining to her disappearance. This included the photo that you see here with Lam on the elevator of the Cecil Hotel, It was the last known photograph of Lam that anyone had seen.
Millions of people had seen the video hoping to find out some sort of information about Lam’s disappearance. The way she was acting was considered to be very strange by many, which caused some to be deeply disturbed by the video. Some thought that she might have been on drugs or was having a mental breakdown, especially considering her previous history with mental health problems.
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks after her disappearance that one of the most bizarre endings to a search for a missing person occurred. Guests at the Cecil Hotel started to alert management that there was something wrong with the water. Some guests had issues with low water pressure, while others said that the water was disgusting and discolored. With that, management sent up a maintenance crew to water tanks.
What they found was shocking, as Lam’s body had been found in one of the large water tanks. Police were notified and were left with a lot of questions as to how Lam’s body had gotten into the water tank. Once she was removed, the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office determined that her death was an accident, and that she drowned without foul play being suspected.
The clothes that she was wearing in the photograph you see here were also found in the tank, but she was not wearing them at the time of her death. There were no signs, however, of a physical altercation at all. Lam had been found with a very small amount of alcohol in her system and prescription drugs that could have caused problems, which was also mixed with over the counter drugs such as Ibuprofen.
While the death was ruled as an accident by the coroner, there were still plenty of people that were hoping for more of a background story that detailed how she got into the water tank. Accessing the room with the tanks was no easy feat, and removing the top lid would have been a large task. Further investigations suggested that Lam might have been sexually assaulted, but the official cause of death remained accidental, with mental health being the biggest factor.
Lam’s parents would go on to sue the Cecil Hotel accusing them of being responsible for her accidental death. However, the case was dismissed a year later, as the hotel was found not liable for Lam getting through a tough access point to the water tanks. They also argued that she had been trespassing in an area that only employees of the hotel had access to.
People are still left with a lot of guesses as to what actually happened on that late January night when Lam disappeared. The video that was used in hopes of helping people find her has continued to be viewed across the internet, in what’s considered one of the most haunting videos that you can find. Not many cases that are officially listed as resolved continue to have so many questions, but the case of Elisa Lam’s disappearance and death is one of those instances.