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Thu May 25, 2017, 12:49 PM

The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam

The body of Elisa Lam, also known by her Cantonese name, Lam Ho Yi (simplified Chinese: 蓝可儿; traditional Chinese: 藍可兒; April 30, 1991[1] 2013), a Canadian student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, was recovered from a water tank atop the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles on February 19, 2013. She had been reported missing at the beginning of the month. Maintenance workers at the hotel discovered the body when investigating guest complaints of problems with the water supply.

Her disappearance had been widely reported; interest had increased five days prior to her body's discovery when the Los Angeles Police Department released video of the last time she was known to have been seen, on the day of her disappearance, by an elevator security camera. In the footage, Lam is seen exiting and re-entering the elevator, talking and gesturing in the hallway outside, and sometimes seeming to hide within the elevator, which itself appears to be malfunctioning. The video went viral on the Internet, with many viewers reporting that they found it unsettling. Explanations ranged from claims of paranormal involvement to the bipolar disorder from which Lam suffered; it has also been argued that the video was altered prior to release.

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