UPDATE: Feb. 19 - Police have confirmed the body of Elisa Lam was found in a rooftop water tank of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles. It remains too early in the investigation to determine if Lam was a victim of foul play.
A 21-year-old Vancouver woman missing in L.A. is described by one friend as caring and conscientious.
Elisa Lam, a UBC student, was last seen by the staff at the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 31.
Alex Ristea, who was friends with Lam in high school, says he was shocked to hear about her disappearance.
"It sent shivers down my spine because even though she wasn't a close friend, she was still someone I knew."
Ristea remembers Lam as being level-headed, someone who didn't drink or smoke.
“Honestly, probably one of the nicest people I knew just in terms of always caring for other people and going out there and supporting the community and volunteering for stuff,” he said.
"Elisa would have been the last person out of all my friends I'd expected to go missing on a trip. It's kind of scary. It hit me out of nowhere."
Ristea says Lam was in California as a tourist and had been posting photos on Facebook from the San Diego Zoo and the Conan O'Brien Show.
Investigators say Lam was in contact with her family on a daily basis and last made contact on Jan. 31.
In a press release issued Wednesday, the Los Angeles Police Department said "her reason for traveling in the state was unclear, but her final destination was apparently in Santa Cruz, California. It is also known that she tends to use public transportation, such as Amtrak and municipal buses."
Police said her disappearance is being considered suspicious, and may involve foul play.
The LAPD is working with the RCMP and Interpol on the investigation.Here is a timeline of Elisa Lam's disappearance.
21-year-old Elisa Lam of Vancouver, B.C. arrived in L.A. on Jan. 26. The University of British Columbia student was travelling by herself.
Lam checked into the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 28. She was set to check out on Feb. 1, reported KTLA.
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 disappearance was called "suspicious" by police.
Friends called Lam a caring and conscientious woman. She had been travelling alone in California. Police said her reason for travelling in the state was "unclear."
LAPD released a troubling video captured from the Cecil Hotel's elevator surveillance camera of Lam behaving strangely.
On Feb. 19, Lam's body was discovered by a worker in one of the Cecil Hotel's four water tanks on the building's roof. They were checking a complaint about low water pressure.
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.
An autopsy on the body was completed on Feb. 21, but the cause of death has been "deferred pending additional tests," said Ed Winter, L.A. Country assistant chief coroner.
Two former guests file a class-action lawsuit against the Cecil Hotel after Elisa Lam's body was found in a water tank.
Elisa Lam died of "accidental due to drowning, other significant conditions: bipolar disorder," confirmed Los Angeles County Coroner.