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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hotel Guests in LA Brushing Teeth with Remains of Missing Tourist

Posted by on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Did some bored jerk add grapefruit to your breakfast order* in the middle of the night? That sucks. But your last hotel stay could've been a whole lot worse. You could've been brushing your teeth with the slowly liquifying remains of a missing Canadian tourist:

When a maintenance worker at L.A.'s Cecil Hotel opened the hotel's rooftop water tank to investigate low water pressure, he found something unexpected: a dead body. Investigators believe the remains of Elisa Lam had been inside the tank since January 31, when the 21-year-old was last seen. As police work to determine if her death was the result of foul play or "a very, very strange accident," the LA County Department of Public Health is investigating a more urgent matter: the potentially contaminated water, which hotel residents had, for several weeks, used to bathe in and brush their teeth.

Water from that particular tank was also used in the hotel's coffee shop and restaurant. So, um, yeah. The grapefruit isn't looking so bad now, is it?

* If you've already read Jacob Tomsky's Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality, then you know how easy it is to get things you didn't order removed from your bill—and things you did order.


Comments (19) RSS

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Lew Siffer 1
What's fucked up is that if she didn't kill herself, maybe she thought it would be fun to take a dip. Then the edge was to high to reach and she treaded water and backfloated for as long as possible, then drowned.
Posted by Lew Siffer on February 21, 2013 at 9:06 AM · Report this
rob! 2
I was about to SlogTip this. Agonizing over whether it was your beat or Cienna's.
Posted by rob! on February 21, 2013 at 9:10 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 3
There is video of her right before she died and she looks like somebody who is frightened for her life.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 21, 2013 at 9:21 AM · Report this
rob! 4
Of course, unless your drinking/bathing water is extracted from moon dust and rocketed back to earth, it has marinated at the very least a few dead ducks and dead fish and the shit thereof on the way to your taps.

That fact wouldn't have made me feel better either.
Posted by rob! on February 21, 2013 at 9:34 AM · Report this
Helix 5
@3 Citation needed.
Posted by Helix on February 21, 2013 at 9:38 AM · Report this
Pick1 6
Ad slogans brought to mind by this story...

Dasani - Can't Live Without It
Watson's - It's your body
Aquafina - So pure, we promise nothing
Evian - Your natural source of youth
Vittel - A New Life Everyday
Posted by Pick1 on February 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 7
Worked in hotels for several years in college...I've never paid full price for my hotel room since and always get some free stuff. There's always a "problem" with my stay....always.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on February 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 8
@5: I wouldn't necessarily say "scared for her life", but the YouTube video is definitely of someone who is acting scared. The way she looks out of the elevator and jumps back in and pushes herself into a corner. The way she rings her hands. Scared. Of what? Who knows. My original thought had been bad drug trip &/or psych hallucinations. Now we may never know.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on February 21, 2013 at 9:59 AM · Report this
emor 9
I disagree. She acts weird and erratic, but strangely calm. A one point she does a weird dance. Drugs?

Come on, just google it.
Posted by emor on February 21, 2013 at 10:03 AM · Report this
If LA's Cecil Hotel is anything like Vancouver's or Calgary's Cecil, I'm leaning toward foul play. The weekly rates sign in the CNN pictures does not boost my confidence.
Posted by Subdued Excitement on February 21, 2013 at 10:09 AM · Report this
It may be impossible to pass a camel through the eye of a needle but you can pass a hoser through a hose.
Posted by kwodell on February 21, 2013 at 10:53 AM · Report this
eclexia 13
"Let's get out of here, I badly need to floss a piece of roasted dead person out of my teeth!"

Cat, Red Dwarf Series 7
Posted by eclexia on February 21, 2013 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Hey, that was the plot in Dark Water! Which I can totally recommend, by the way. (The original, haven't seen the remake.)
Posted by Adacia on February 21, 2013 at 11:53 AM · Report this
Nyckname 15
Law & Order is so good at ripping things straight from the headlines that they're doing it before the actual event.

Or was it CSI:NY had an episode with a body in a rooftop water tank?
Posted by Nyckname on February 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM · Report this
rob! 16
@2: Season 2, Episode 16 (2005/6) of the latter.…

Also, this story from Singapore two years ago:…
Posted by rob! on February 21, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
rob! 17
(Should have been @15.)
Posted by rob! on February 21, 2013 at 12:21 PM · Report this
the idiot formerly known as kk 18
Posted by the idiot formerly known as kk on February 21, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
Ray Randell 19
She didn't looks scared to me, she looked like she was tripping.

She hit all the buttons in the elevator for some reason. WTH?

So sad. And gross.
Posted by Ray Randell on February 21, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Sandiai 20
I'm thinking Jimson weed, popular with teens in the Southwest. It makes you delirious and hot.…

She was looking for the pool, but she kept ending up on the roof. She found a big cistern of water up there and crawled in to cool off. Sad.
Drugs are bad, kids, mmmkay.
Posted by Sandiai on February 21, 2013 at 1:48 PM · Report this

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