Health officials in Los Angeles have issued a do-not-drink order on the water at Los Angeles's Cecil Hotel after a missing tourist was found dead inside the building's water tank. Yes, there's a very solid chance that tourists at the hotel drank, brushed their teeth, and washed their hair with water from a tank where a dead woman had been decomposing for weeks.
"The water did have a funny taste," Sabrina Baugh, a guest at the Cecil, told CNN, which adds that Baugh and her husband had used the water for eight days. "We never thought anything of it ... We thought it was just the way it was here," Baugh said, adding that black water would come out of the shower when the tap was turned on. Okay, yeah, we're this close to going back to bed.
A maintenance worker had found the body of Canadian tourist Elisa Lam in one of the hotel's four water tanks on Tuesday morning, after investigating why the hotel's water pressure had dropped. Lam was last seen on January 31. "The tanks provide water for hotel taps and would have been used by guests for washing and drinking," reports the AP.
Police had initially said the water was safe to drink, but the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reversed that decision on Wednesday—we (but more the hotel guests than anyone) are still waiting word on tests they conducted yesterday.
Don't think for a second that this episode of extreme grossness is only going to live in news reports. Nope. The reviews for the Cecil on Yelp weren't that great to begin with, but now a spate of the hotel's recent reviews mention the corpse in the hotel's water tank:
Some are more succinct:
One guest had a sixth sense:
While another had a suggestion about a new business model:
The serial killers Frankie W. are legit. LA Observed's Denise Hamilton wrote in 2007:
I wrote last week about how Unterweger killed several prostitutes he picked up on Seventh Street while staying at the seedy SRO hotel in 1991. Six years earlier, in 1985, when rates were as low as $14 a night, Richard Ramirez lived in a 14th floor room of the Cecil while killing 14 people. (Occult numerology, anyone?)
CNN is reporting that the hotel was still open on Tuesday, when the body was found. The investigation into Lam's death is still ongoing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.