Corpse Found In L.A. Hotel’s Water Tank; Elisa Lam Rots In Hotel Cecil Rooftop Tank For Three Weeks

on February 22, 2013 10:57 AM EST

Corpse Found In L.A. Hotel's Water Tank
Elisa Lam's body was found in the Hotel Cecil's rooftop water tank. (Photo: Google Maps)

A corpse found in an L.A. hotel's water tank gave the water an awful taste, but testing revealed none of the guests at the Hotel Cecil were exposed to dangerous bacteria. One guest, Sabrina Baugh, used the water in the hotel for eight days. She told CNN that she and her husband had suspicions, but never imagined that the source of the strange-tasting water was a corpse in the L.A. hotel's water tank.

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"The water did have a funny taste," Sabrina Baugh told CNN on Wednesday. "The shower was awful. 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 has retained a consultant who submitted a plan to sanitize the water lines that will be retested before they are put back into operation, Angelo Bellomo, the county's director of environmental health, told the Washington Post. No harmful bacteria were discovered, likely due to the amount of chlorine in the water tank.

"We can't say what the quality of the water was prior to the samples" taken Tuesday, Bellomo said. "We can only say that the water met the standard at the time it was sampled."

Meanwhile, the death of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old student from Vancouver, B.C., is being investigated after security footage showed her hiding on an elevator and peering around corners as though someone was stalking her. Authorities are calling the death suspicious after an autopsy on the corpse found in the L.A. hotel's water tank failed to produce a definitive cause of death. Coroner's officials said they would wait for toxicology test results before making a final determination.

High school classmate Alex Ristea, of Vancouver, called Lam's death shocking and said she was one of the friendliest people he knew.

"This is the last person I expect out of all my friends to have something like this happen to her," Ristea said.

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