LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Police said late Tuesday that a body found in a water tank on the roof of a downtown hotel near Skid Row is a Canadian tourist who had been missing for nearly three weeks.
Investigators used body markings to identify 21-year-old Elisa Lam, police spokeswoman Officer Diana Figueroa said. A maintenance worker at the Cecil Hotel found the body earlier Tuesday after guests complained of low water pressure.
Lam, of Vancouver, British Columbia, traveled to California alone on Jan. 27 and was last seen by workers at the Cecil on Jan. 31.
The body was discovered at about 10 a.m. Officials spent much of the day struggling to remove it from the water tank.
“The location of the water tanks is very small and configured in a very tight way so it's a little more difficult to get the body out,” police spokeswoman Officer Sara Faden said.
Investigators will determine whether Lam was killed by foul play or “a very, very strange accident,” Faden said.
At the time of Lam's disappearance, police alerted the public that it appeared suspicious.
Her final destination in California was Santa Cruz, about 350 miles north of Los Angeles, and officials said she tended to use public transportation. Lam had been in touch with her family daily until she disappeared.
Despite the hotel website's photos of glamorous parts of greater Los Angeles, including Beverly Hills, the downtown area it is located in has long struggled against the creeping destitution of nearby Skid Row, where drug addiction and homelessness is rampant.
A call to the hotel seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Shaya Tayefe Mohajer can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APShaya