LOS ANGELES — More testing must be done to determine the cause of death of a 21-year-old Canadian tourist whose body was found wedged in a water tank atop a downtown Los Angeles hotel, authorities said Thursday.
An autopsy performed Thursday didn't provide definitive answers into whether Elisa Lam was killed or if she fell victim to a bizarre accident. Coroner's officials will await toxicology tests before making a final determination.
Lam's body was found Tuesday in a water cistern atop the downtown Cecil Hotel. Police have called her death suspicious.
Guest complaints about low water pressure prompted a maintenance worker to make the gruesome discovery.
Before she died, hotel surveillance footage showed her inside an elevator pushing buttons and sticking her head out the doors, looking in both directions.
Meanwhile, water tested from the hotel didn't contain any live bacteria that would cause illness.
Although county health officials issued a do-not-drink order, the results that came back Thursday indicated the water was safe from a "microbiological standpoint," said Angelo Bellomo, the county's director of environmental health.
"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."
Chlorine in the water likely killed any bacteria in the tank where Lam's body was found, Bellomo said. Two standard water tests were performed and samples were taken from throughout the hotel.
Bellomo said 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. Only water for toilets is flowing for hotel guests currently.
Lam, of Vancouver, British Columbia, traveled alone to Los Angeles on Jan. 26 and was last seen five days later by workers at the 600-room hotel near Skid Row. She intended to travel to Santa Cruz, about 350 miles north of Los Angeles.
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.
University of British Columbia spokesman Randy Schmidt confirmed that Lam had attended summer school at the university, but she was not registered for the current session.
Ristea said he believes Lam had just gone to California for a holiday, saying she had posted pictures on Facebook from tourist locations such as the San Diego Zoo.
Reached by phone, a man who confirmed that it was Lam's home of said he was busy and hung up when asked to speak about her. A woman reached later at the same number, when told it was a reporter calling, also hung up after saying, "Sorry."
Associated Press writers Jeremy Hainsworth in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Charmaine Noronha in Toronto contributed to this report.
Surveillance video: . http://bit.ly/Yq5K1y
Jan. 26, 2013 - Arrival In L.A.
21-year-old <a href="http://www.lapdonline.org/newsroom/news_view/52943">Elisa Lam</a> of Vancouver, B.C. arrived in L.A. on Jan. 26. The University of British Columbia student was travelling by herself.
Jan. 28, 2013 - Hotel Check-In
Lam checked into the Cecil Hotel in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/06/elisa-lam-missing-vancouver-la-disappearance_n_2632632.html">downtown Los Angeles</a> on Jan. 28. She was set to check out on Feb. 1, reported KTLA.
Jan. 31, 2013 - Last Seen Alive
Lam was last seen alive in the lobby of the Cecil Hotel on Jan. 31. She had been in contact with her family daily. Her <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/06/elisa-lam-missing-vancouver-la-disappearance_n_2632632.html">disappearance was called "suspicious"</a> by police.
Feb. 8, 2013 - Friend Calls Lam "Caring"
Friends called Lam a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/08/elisa-lam-vancouver-student-missing-los-angeles_n_2647593.html">caring and conscientious woman</a>. She had been travelling alone in California. Police said her reason for travelling in the state was "unclear."
Feb. 14, 2013 - Troubling Video Released
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/14/elisa-lam-missing-video-la-vancouver_n_2688168.html">LAPD released</a> a troubling video captured from the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Zq4LmWiDiC0">Cecil Hotel's elevator surveillance</a> camera of Lam behaving strangely.
Feb. 19, 2013 - Body Found
On Feb. 19, Lam's body was discovered by a worker in one of the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/19/elisa-lam-dead-missing-vancouver-body-found-la_n_2719564.html">Cecil Hotel</a>'s four water tanks on the building's roof. They were checking a complaint about low water pressure.
Feb. 20, 2013 - Guests Leave Hotel After Lam Found
A man, left, leaves the Cecil Hotel with belongings as Michael and Sabina Baugh, both 27, of Plymouth, England, wait for transportation as they leave the hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 20. Early Tuesday, police discovered the body of a Canadian woman at the bottom of the historic hotel's water tank, weeks after she was reported missing. The Baughs, on a 14-day tour package, had been there eight days and had showered in and drank the water. The couple's tour operator was less than cooperative in finding them other accommodations.
Feb. 21, 2013 - Autopsy Complete
An autopsy on the body was completed on Feb. 21, but the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/21/elisa-lam-autopsy-missing-la-die_n_2736358.html">cause of death</a> has been "deferred pending additional tests," said Ed Winter, L.A. Country assistant chief coroner.
Feb. 26, 2013 - Class-Action Lawsuit Filed
Two former guests file a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/01/elisa-lam-case-cecil-hotel-lawsuit_n_2793453.html?1362186011">class-action lawsuit</a> against the Cecil Hotel after Elisa Lam's body was found in a water tank.
Jun. 20, 2013 - Cause Of Death Confirmed
Elisa Lam died of "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/20/elisa-lam-death-accidental_n_3474116.html" target="_blank">accidental due to drowning, other significant conditions: bipolar disorder</a>," confirmed Los Angeles County Coroner.