A maintenance worker was poking around the rooftop water tank of the Cecil Hotel when he discovered the body of Elisa Lam. He was looking in the tank of the Los Angeles, Calif., hotel because of reports of low water pressure. Lam was last seen at the hotel on Jan. 31 and reported missing by her parents in early February. The 21-year-old’s body likely spent two weeks decomposing in the rooftop tank.
Guests staying at the Los Angeles hotel brushed their teeth, bathed and drank water from the tank that contained the dead body. According to CNN, it is unknown whether the water presented any immediate health risks to those who ingested it. The Los Angeles Public Health Department conducted tests on the water on Wednesday.
Though they had no idea as to why the water at the hotel seemed strange, some guests did notice that something was a little bit off. “The water did have a funny taste,” said Sabrina Baugh, a tourist visiting from Britain. “We never thought anything of it. We thought it was just the way it was here.”
Baugh and her husband stayed at the hotel for eight days. It sounds as if water pressure wasn’t the only probably with the showers. “The shower was awful,” she said. “When you turned the tap on, the water was coming black first for two seconds and then it was going back to normal.”
The hotel remained open despite the discovery of Lam’s body, but guests who were just checking in received warnings about the water and were instructed not to drink it. Many potential customers of the hotel opted to find other lodgings after being warned about the water and what had caused it to become a concern.
Police are looking into Lam’s suspicious disappearance and death.