Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Video shows missing Vancouver student’s odd behaviour at L.A. hotel

Elisa Lam of Vancouver is seen in various photos released by the Los Angeles Police Department.

In the video, Elisa Lam is behaving strangely in an elevator at a discount hotel in a sketchy Los Angeles neighbourhood.

The nearly two-and-a-half-minute security video, which police released earlier this week, shows the missing Vancouver student pushing buttons for multiple floors. When the doors don't close, she darts out and quickly looks from side to side. At one point, she stands outside the elevator and moves her arms around wildly. After pressing several buttons again, she eventually walks away.

Ms. Lam, 21, mysteriously vanished more than two weeks ago. Police have said her disappearance is "suspicious and may suggest foul play."

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Lam, who was in touch daily with her family before she vanished, was last seen without her eyeglasses at the Cecil Hotel on Jan. 31. She never checked out.

The hotel, which rents rooms with shared bathrooms for just $65 (U.S.), is located near L.A.'s Skid Row neighbourhood, which is a hive for drug and other criminal activity. The hotel got an upgrade a few years ago under new ownership but previously housed low-income permanent residents.

Police have said they don't know why the University of British Columbia student was in southern California but that her final destination was Santa Cruz. She arrived in L.A. on Jan. 26.

Her family appeared at a police news conference last week.

Ms. Lam is described as being of Chinese descent, five-foot-four and weighing about 115 pounds. She speaks English and Cantonese.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
National news reporter

  More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨