Canadian Tourist Spent Weeks Decomposing In Hotel’s Water Supply

The Cecil Hotel's water tanks.

The Cecil Hotel’s water tanks.

In late January, a 21-year-old Canadian woman disappeared, and she was last seen at a Los Angeles hotel. In the following weeks, guests noticed that tap water had some unusual qualities, and finally water pressure fell drastically. On Tuesday, maintenance staff discovered a nightmare scenario: the missing woman had been decomposing for weeks in the hotel’s rooftop water supply, and other guests had been brushing their teeth with corpse water.

The hotel uses the four rooftop tanks to provide water to its guests for showering, brushing their teeth, and drinking. Food service facilities inside the hotel also use it for cooking. The cafe and restaurant have shut down and will sanitize all of their equipment, and the hotel hired a water-treatment company to sanitize all of its plumbing.

Guests are understandably rather freaked out, especially those who only found out about the situation when reporters told them about it. A British guest who spoke to CNN said that the water tasted terrible and something didn’t seem right. “When you turned the [shower] tap on, the water was coming black first for two seconds and then it was going back to normal,” she explained.

Investigators haven’t determined how the woman ended up nude and in a water tank, but for now assume that foul play was involved. Security cameras captured her image on February 1st, and she was acting strangely, as if hiding from someone.

The Cecil Hotel has famously housed two serial killers in past decades.

Missing Tourist Case Probed by LAPD Homicide [NBC Los Angeles]
Corpse found in L.A. hotel’s water tank [CNN]
The long, dark history of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles [KPCC]