Can you imagine your daughter suddenly disappearing, reporting it to the police the next day and not finding her decomposing body until three weeks later? This is the tragic story of Elisa Lam and her family who nine years later still cannot find justice for their daughter. Alisa’s mother was a Chinese-Canadian student who was visiting Los Angeles when something strange happened to her at the Cecil Hotel. To this day, police reports remain conflicting, and it’s still unclear how Alisa died and who killed her. It is a tragic story that deserves further exploration.
That being said, let’s dive in. Elisa Lam was an only child and a quiet girl who was interested in fashion and literature. Her parents were from Hong Kong, but she was born in Vancouver, Canada. Her parents opened an Asian restaurant in Vancouver and then helped run the popular Chinese restaurant, Paul’s. As a teenager, Elisa was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression.
Bipolar disorder manifests as depression alternating with periods of abnormally elevated mood called mania. She had a long list of prescription drugs to take, but she lived a peaceful life with her family and she was never violent, nor did she attempt suicide. In 2010, 19-year-old Elisa began chronicling her struggles with mental illness alongside images of models. She had a blog called Ether Fields on Blogspot that she kept running for two years. One of her entries just said I spent about two days in bed hating myself.
Many of Elisa’s posts revolved around her depression. She criticized herself for not running away from overeating and finding excuses for it. In a January 2012 blog post, Alisa wrote that she suffered a relapse earlier in the current school year that has forced her to drop out of several classes, leaving her feeling so disoriented and lost. She captioned her post You’re always haunted by the idea that you’re wasting your life. To quote the writer, Chuck Palah knew.
Alisa also used this disturbing quote as a motto for her blog. She feared that with so many de-registrations, her transcript would look suspicious and that it would prevent her from pursuing her studies and attending graduate school. A little over two years after Alyssa started blogging, she announced that she was quitting her blog for another one she had started, this time on Tumblr called Novel Noovo. The content mainly consisted of fashion photos, quotes and some posts. In Elisa’s own words, she used the same quote as the inscription, but we must remember Alyssa as a person and not a diagnosis.
She was a bright girl studying at the University of British Columbia and dreaming about her future. Tragically, none of those dreams came true. In January 2013, she traveled to the States and her family never saw her again.
On December 21, 2012, Alyssa wrote about her plans to travel to Los Angeles and attend school in Santa Clara, where she hoped to be promoted. She even posted her itinerary on Tumblr and called anyone who wanted to meet up while she was out. On January 9, 2013, Alyssa announced that she had created a new Facebook page for the fifth time because of paranoia. She added that this was the beginning of her depression and that she was feeling very down. On January 22, Alyssa arrived in San Diego on Amtrak and intercity buses after getting lost at an airport and missing her flight.
In the days that followed, Alyssa visited the San Diego Zoo and posted pictures she took there on her Tumblr. She also wrote a post saying that every once in a while I do something totally impulsive and reckless, like tell a guy I just met I like him. On January 26th, Alyssa arrived in La the first night she wrote on her Tumblr that she had gone to a bar with some friends. On the 28th she checked into the Cecil Hotel. Renamed Stay on Maine.
The Cecil Hotel was affordable in downtown La, which has a huge homelessness problem. While some floors were intended for visitors like Alyssa, others were used for short-term or long-term housing for people who lived in this Skid Row area. Before Alyssa’s tragedy, the hotel already had a bad reputation. It was a place with a history of suicides, overdoses, and a place where several high-profile serial killers had stayed. It was even the inspiration for American Horror Story Hotel, which starred Lady Gaga as a vampire in a penthouse.
Alyssa initially checked into a shared room, but two days later her roommates complained about her strange behavior and the hotel manager had her moved to the fifth floor, a room she would have all to herself. On February 1st, Alyssa was supposed to check out of the Cecil and head to Santa Cruz for the final leg of her trip, but Alyssa never checked out. Something terrible happened to her, and the full reality of it is still unknown.
When Alyssa left Canada, her parents determined that they would call every day. Despite once losing her phone, Alyssa spoke to them every day until February 1st. That day, Mr. and Mrs. Lam flew to La and filed a missing persons report with the LAPD.
Police looked for hundreds of leads over the next few days, but they were grasping at straws. The last person to see Alyssa was Katie Orphan, a bookstore manager who described Alyssa as very lively and very friendly as she bought gifts to take home and the police searched every room they could. As Sergeant Rudy Lopez explained, they could only search a room if they had probable cause to believe a crime had been committed. After desperately searching for leads and finding nothing, the LAPD went public on February 6 and invited everyone to keep an eye out for Alyssa as well. Come forward with useful information.
Another horrific week ensued, with Alyssa’s parents growing more concerned by the minute and the police desperate for results. On February 14, police found a major breakthrough in the case. A really weird security camera from the Cecil Hotel elevator. The video immediately attracted global attention on the Chinese platform. Yuku.
It got 3 million views and 400 comments in just ten days. Many people found it too unsettling to watch. To the end, the footage shows Alyssa in a very agitated state, boarding and exiting what appears to be a broken elevator. Did she have a bipolar episode? Did she forget to take her medication?
Did she run away from someone? Police were at a loss as to how this footage could be connected to her disappearance, but they knew something was wrong. However, the case could not be closed until February 19.
It was February 19th and a hotel employee was informed of strange smelling water and low pressure faucets. So he went to the hotel roof and checked the water tanks. Inside was the floating, naked body of Alyssa Long. On the 21st, the coroner released a report stating that Alyssa drowned accidentally and that it was mainly due to her bipolar disorder. By now, however, the case had garnered worldwide attention and many people were dissatisfied with the coroner’s report because they simply didn’t believe that Alyssa had accidentally drowned in a huge water tank on the hotel’s roof.
First, Sisil’s hotel guests did not have access to the hotel’s roof. The doors and stairs leading to the hotel roof are locked and only the staff has the passwords and keys and any attempt to open them would have set off an alarm. So unless someone took Alyssa to the roof, she couldn’t have gotten there herself. And if someone showed her the way, that means she didn’t accidentally drown. Then there’s the issue of CCTV elevator footage, which has fueled hundreds, if not thousands, of discussions online.
Aside from the very disturbing sight of Alyssa talking to herself and feeling very agitated, many of the video’s viewers argued that the footage was missing a full minute, meaning someone must have tampered with it to hide evidence. However, since the resolution is very low, it cannot be proven whether the minute is missing or not. Then there were claims that someone intentionally pixelated Alyssa’s mouth in the footage so they could hide something she was saying. But then again, these allegations have never been addressed by the police. Then came the claims that supernatural powers possessed Alyssa’s body.
But to make these claims is to ignore the Cecil Hotel’s horrific history. In 1985, serial killer Richard Ramirez stayed at the Cecil Hotel and killed 13 women. In 1991, Jack Unterwegger was arrested as a murder suspect. The Hotel Sicile also had numerous cases of guests taking their own lives in the hotel rooms, too many of those Skid Row people who had given up their hopes and dreams. Probably the most frustrating part is that while Cecil Hotel has a long history of death and murder, none of it can be connected to Alyssa.
Uncovering the mystery of her death as drowning in a water tank on a rooftop she couldn’t access sounds pretty implausible. A theory that was circulated among most of the people who followed her case was as follows. Alyssa was followed through the hotel by a stalker, murdered, and then dragged onto the roof so her killer could dispose of the body in a place where no one would be looking at the water tank. In her old Tumblr post, Alyssa expressed concern that her outspoken nature would get her in trouble. Write My mouth will be my downfall and get me in trouble.
Once she wrote I’m going out tonight, I hope no creep comes near me. It therefore seems likely that Alyssa got into a fight with someone at the hotel and they decided to go after her in the most terrifying way. However, there is much to be said against a murder theory. First off, there were no signs of struggle or injury on Alyssa’s body. Second, none of her items were missing, so there was no attempted robbery.
https://womenafter40.com/the-girl-whose-rotting-body-was-discovered-in-a-hotel-water-tank/ The girl whose decomposing body was discovered in a hotel water tank – Women after 40