The Life and Death of Elisa Lam: What Happened To Her?

Mysterious and unresolved events happen all the time and the death of Elisa Lam is one of them. Until today, the real cause of her death hasn’t been uncovered. While some relate it to paranormal activities considering the circumstances surrounding the death, others have varying theories. Some have said she might have been under the influence of some illicit drugs. The Los Angeles coroner’s office, however, issued a report that she died by ‘accidental drowning’ that might have been caused by her mental illness.

Elisa was bipolar and was said to have died by drowning in a hotel (Cecil Hotel) water tank. According to her parents, she had not exhibited any suicidal tendencies prior to her death. Also, according to a shop attendant who she bought gift items from on the morning of her disappearance, she was lovely and friendly. This begs the question – why would someone who went to get gifts for her family who she was about to see soon kill herself?

Below is all that is known about the life and death of this young Canadian and some other details you will definitely find interesting.

Who Was Elisa Lam?

Elisa Lam is of Cantonese descent. She was born on April 30, 1991, and is also known as Lam Ho Yi. She was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, hence she is a Canadian by birth. The schools she attended before she was admitted to the University of British Columbia are not known, however, she was a bipolar patient who owned a blog where she talked about her disorder and how it affected her studies.

Her blog – – was a fashion blog which she created in mid-2010. The contents included pictures of models in fashionable clothing and some tales of her life experiences. In one of her posts, she expressed her frustrations in school because she had to drop some courses because of her condition and how she felt utterly directionless and lost. She was often seen alone, often boarded buses alone and is not known to have any friends or be involved in any romantic relationship.

Elisa Lam doesn’t have any know siblings, however, her parents’ names have been revealed as David and Yinna Lam. They own a  restaurant in Burnaby, just outside Vancouver, Canada. Elisa came into Los Angeles on January 26, 2013, and lodged at the Cecil Hotel. She behaved in odd ways due to her bipolar condition and that caused her to be removed from her shared room at the Hotel to one in which she had to stay alone.

How Did Elisa Lam Die?

Elisa Lam died mysteriously and the main cause of her death was never discovered. She went missing on January 31, 2013, the day she was meant to check out of her hotel. She supposedly went to get some gifts for her family, might have returned to the hotel according to video footage from the security camera at the hotel’s elevator but went missing later that day. Her parents called the Los Angeles Police to help search for her when they didn’t hear from her on that day.

Elisa Lam

After a futile search in and around the hotel by the police, Elisa’s body was later discovered by a hotel staff in one of the two tanks that supplied water to guest rooms, a kitchen, and a coffee shop. The staff went to check the tank when guests as the hotel complained of low water pressure, the odd taste and color of the water. This happened on the morning of February 19.

Elisa Lam’s body was found naked with her clothes were floating in the water above her. Other personal materials were also found in the tank such as her room key and wristwatch.

After her body was found, the police filed that she died from drowning but what no one has been able to answer is how she got to the roof. The doors and stairs leading there were locked and the keys only held by staff. Also, if by the hotel’s fire escape she was able to bypass the security system, how did she climb a 4-8 foot tank without the aid of a ladder, which the staff always use to access it. This and more questions still abound concerning the death of Elisa Lam.

The Disturbing History of Cecil Hotel

The Cecil Hotel – where Elisa Lam’s body was found – is no stranger to weird happenings as it has recorded a plethora of abnormal cases in the past. It is a budget hotel built in the 1920s and suffered a downturn as a result of the Great Depression of the 1930s – from which it never seemed to recover. Asides being an old building, it is also one where many strange events have occurred. One of such is the rape and murder of Goldie Osgood in 1964 – a case that was never solved.

Also, the Cecil Hotel has accommodated two serial killers, Richard Ramirez aka Night Stalker in 1985 and Jack Unterweger aka Vienna Strangler in 1991. They both stayed at the hotel while carrying out their murderous quest. The hotel has also been associated with suicides, including that of Robert Smith, Helen Gurnee, Julia Frances Moore, Pauline Otton, among several others.


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