Police believe a body found on the roof of the Cecil Hotel downtown is that of missing Canadian tourist Elisa Lam, LAPD officials told the Weekly.
The discovery at 640 S Main St. was reported at 10:13 a.m. today, police said.
The woman was seen acting strangely in an elevator, apparently in the hotel lobby, on security video released by the department last week:
The 21-year-old arrived in Los Angeles Jan. 26 and was last seen Jan. 31, police said. It's not clear when the video was recorded.
A police official told us that detectives “believe” it's her body but that a positive identification would have to be made by coroner's investigators, who were called to the scene.
Authorities originally said they suspected “foul play” in Lam's disappearance, but now it's not so clear.
They said she had been headed to Santa Cruz as part of her travels.
The circa-1927 Cecil, which markets itself as lodging for European travelers, is on the edge of Skid Row. It appears to have 14 stories.
[Update at 1:58 p.m.]: LAPD Officer Bruce Borihanh tells the Weekly that a body was found in the hotel's working water tank on its roof.
He said that after some guests complained of low water pressure in their bathrooms a “maintenance man” went up to take a look and found the body of a woman in her 20s inside the tank this morning.
The Los Angeles Fire Department tells us they were called to the area at 1:10 p.m. today. Borihanh says firefighters are working as we speak in an attempt to remove the body.
[Update at 11:09 p.m.]: Police tonight told City News Service that the body has markings that match those of Lam, leading cops to believe it is indeed the missing woman: The corner's office has ID'd the body but would not release a name until next-of-kin was notified.
Hotel management told CNS that the doors to the roof were locked and had alarms, but that someone could otherwise have accessed the tank.