The body of a missing Canadian woman has been discovered in a cistern that was being used to provide drinking water to guests in a [url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/los-angeles"]Los Angeles[/url] hotel.
The remains of Elisa Lam, 21, were found by a maintenance worker at the 600-room, $65 a night Cecil Hotel after guests complained about low water pressure. Detectives were working to determine if her death was the result of foul play or an accident.
British tourist Michael Baugh, 27, and his wife, who had complained about the poor water flow after days of showering, brushing their teeth and drinking some of the tap water, was shocked at the discovery. "We feel a bit sick to the stomach, quite literally, especially having drank the water, we're not well mentally," he said.
Los Angeles' county department of public health officials issued a do-not-drink order on Tuesday while its laboratory tested the water. The disclosure contradicts a previous police statement that the water had been deemed safe.
Terrance Powell, a director co-ordinating the department's response, said the water was also used for cooking in the historical hotel near Skid Row, adding that a coffee shop in the hotel would remain closed and has been instructed to sanitise its food equipment before reopening.
"Our biggest concern is going to be faecal contamination because of the body in the water," he said. The likelihood of contamination is "minimal" given the large amount of water the body was found in, but the department is exercising caution.
Edited by SnowQueenOfDarkness, 21 February 2013 - 01:07 PM.