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Elisa Lam: Autopsy Done, But Further Testing Needed to Determine How She Died

Elisa Lam (Photo courtesy LAPD)
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The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has conducted an autopsy on the body of 21-year-old Elisa Lam, the Canadian woman whose body was discovered this week inside a water tank atop Downtown's Cecil Hotel.Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said that prior to any conclusions being drawn, however, more testing was needed.

A toxicology test has been ordered, as well as tests on her organs, brain, blood, and urine are forthcoming, according to City News Service. Those tests typically take four to six weeks to process.

Winter calls the visiting Lam's death "suspicious" due to her age and health.

Many questions linger about how Lam, last seen in the hotel January 31, ended up inside one of four water tanks on the locked hotel roof.

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"We want to know such things such as was she drunk, was she killed before she ended up in the tank, and how did she get in the tank," Winter said.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Lam's body was at the bottom of one of the cisterns that was three-quarters full of water. A maintenance worker made the gruesome discovery when numerous hotel guests complained about low water pressure.

The LAPD had noted Lam's sudden disappearance as "suspicious" from the outset. She had been in L.A. a few days when she was last seen at the Cecil Hotel where she had been saying. When she stopped communicating with her family back in Vancouver, they became concerned and alerted authorities.

Police recently released disturbing hotel surveillance video showing Lam inside an elevator at the Cecil, pressing all the buttons, hiding, and gesturing wildly--possibly in conversation with someone.

Lam did not ride the elevator, however--it went on to other floors empty. According to a timeline published by CTV News, that footage was taken February 1, the day Lam was to have checked out of the hotel.

Follow all of our coverage of the Elisa Lam case here.