Netflix’s ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ delves into the disappearance of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian tourist, who was last seen alive at a Los Angeles hotel that has a long history of being a den for vices. Elisa had booked her stay at the Cecil Hotel about eight years ago, not wholly realizing that the reason it was so cheap was that it was a place where drug addicts, prostitutes, and serial killers, felt right at home. And even though her case garnered international attention, sparking a few conspiracy theories, the truth behind what transpired was much sadder. So now, if you’re here curious to know more about her family, we’ve got you covered.
Who Is Elisa Lam’s Family?
Elisa Lam, also known by her Cantonese name Lam Ho Yi, was a first-generation Canadian born on April 30, 1991, to David and Yinna Lam. She had one sister, Sarah, to whom she was reportedly quite close. The two siblings shared an intense love for fashion, so they always sought each other out whenever they needed to talk about it.
Back in early 2013, while attending college, Elisa still resided with her parents in Vancouver, British Columbia. Thus, when she told them that she wanted to take a trip down to the American West Coast and experience that part of the world alone, they were a bit wary. However, Elisa made her way to Los Angeles, California, in late January 2013, making sure to talk to her family every day. Apparently, it was routine for her to make the call.
Thus, when she missed a day and didn’t respond to any of their messages, they reported her missing. As per reports, Elisa was last seen alive on January 31, and her parents had let the authorities know about their fears on February 1 itself. Unfortunately, though, Elisa’s body was discovered in the hotel’s water tank on February 19. Later that year, examiners concluded that she was a victim of accidental drowning, with bipolar disorder playing a role.
Where Is Elisa Lam’s Family Now?
For Elisa to wind up in the tank on her own accord, she would have had to get onto the hotel roof, climb on a high platform, and then use a ladder to reach the 20-pound hatch keeping the tank close. Therefore, David and Yinna Lam filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Cecil Hotel in September 2013. The suit stated that the hotel had an obligation to “inspect and seek out hazards in the hotel that presented an unreasonable risk of danger to (Lam) and other hotel guests.”
In their filing, they claimed that if the area had been inaccessible to hotel guests or if the water tanks had been locked, their daughter, despite her mental illness, would still be alive today. After a lengthy legal battle, an LA Supreme Court judge dismissed the case, citing that the Cecil Hotel could not have foreseen the tragedy. Today, not much is known about Elisa’s family as they prefer to live their lives well away from the spotlight.
It seems like they want to heal and move on from their past and trauma without the public eye peering into their day-to-day experiences. Although, in saying that, it does appear as if they still own and operate Paul’s Restaurant in North Burnaby. The restaurant, specializing in home-style Canadian and authentic Chinese food, still has its doors open for service. It offers dine-in, takeaway, and delivery. After all, Paul’s cozy and warm look hasn’t changed much over the years either, which is one of the most critical factors pointing towards a shift in ownership and/or management.
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