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  1. #1
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    Hotel Cecil Rooftop K-9 Search

    The purpose of this thread is to ask questions of and get an opinion from a WS verified professional search dog handler with regard to the search by dogs that took place for Elisa Lam on the rooftop of the Cecil Hotel, sometime between the dates Feb 1 through Feb 5.

    Oriah is a WS verified professional search dog handler who will be joining us shortly after catching up on the details of Elisa's case.

    For the benefit of any handlers who join in this discussion, this is a brief summary as it relates to the search of the rooftop of the Cecil Hotel:

    Jan 31 2013 Elisa disappeared (some account say early morning hours of Feb 1). To our knowledge, the last recorded siting of her was as she left the elevator inside the Cecil Hotel.

    Feb 6 2013 LAPD went public with her disappearance and said the hotel had been searched with dogs (Note: specific date of search and type of dog are not known)

    Feb 19 2013 Elisa’s body was found in a water tank atop the roof of the 15 storey Cecil Hotel. Access to the top of the water tank in which she was found would appear to be either by a ladder at the side of the tank (wooden ladder, and unknown if it was there at the time of her disappearance), or from the top of a 2-storey maintenance loft located immediately adjacent to the tank in which she was found. Access to the top of that 2-storey maintenance loft is by a metal ladder affixed to the side of it.

    An LAPD spokesperson has been quoted as saying it is his understanding the hatch on top of the water tank was closed at the time the rooftop was searched.

    There was no precipitation in Los Angeles for the period Feb 1 through Feb 5.

    Online historical weather data reports temperatures and wind speed were:

    Wind Speed Mph
    Mean/Max

    Feb 1 .58 – 8
    Feb 2 .12 – 2.9
    Feb 3 1.04 – 4.1
    Feb 4 .58 – 5.1
    Feb 5 .58 – 4.1

    Degrees F
    Min/Mean/Max

    Feb 1 50/60/76
    Feb 2 56/63/75
    Feb 3 56/67/77
    Feb 4 50/59/72
    Feb 5 54/55/60
    Last edited by sillybilly; 03-10-2013 at 06:50 PM. Reason: spacing

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    Some pics that may be helpful:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Ladder from rooftop to top of 2-storey maintenance loft:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by sillybilly; 03-10-2013 at 06:53 PM.

  4. #4
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    This looks great Silly
    Love is blind...
    Don't fall so in love with your theory you're blind to it's flaws

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillybilly View Post
    The purpose of this thread is to ask questions of and get an opinion from a WS verified professional search dog handler with regard to the search by dogs that took place for Elisa Lam on the rooftop of the Cecil Hotel, sometime between the dates Feb 1 through Feb 5.

    Oriah is a WS verified professional search dog handler who will be joining us shortly after catching up on the details of Elisa's case.

    For the benefit of any handlers who join in this discussion, this is a brief summary as it relates to the search of the rooftop of the Cecil Hotel:

    Jan 31 2013 Elisa disappeared (some account say early morning hours of Feb 1). To our knowledge, the last recorded siting of her was as she left the elevator inside the Cecil Hotel.

    Feb 6 2013 LAPD went public with her disappearance and said the hotel had been searched with dogs (Note: specific date of search and type of dog are not known)

    Feb 19 2013 Elisa’s body was found in a water tank atop the roof of the 15 storey Cecil Hotel. Access to the top of the water tank in which she was found would appear to be either by a ladder at the side of the tank (wooden ladder, and unknown if it was there at the time of her disappearance), or from the top of a 2-storey maintenance loft located immediately adjacent to the tank in which she was found. Access to the top of that 2-storey maintenance loft is by a metal ladder affixed to the side of it.

    An LAPD spokesperson has been quoted as saying it is his understanding the hatch on top of the water tank was closed at the time the rooftop was searched.

    There was no precipitation in Los Angeles for the period Feb 1 through Feb 5.

    Online historical weather data reports temperatures and wind speed were:

    Wind Speed Mph
    Mean/Max

    Feb 1 .58 – 8
    Feb 2 .12 – 2.9
    Feb 3 1.04 – 4.1
    Feb 4 .58 – 5.1
    Feb 5 .58 – 4.1

    Degrees F
    Min/Mean/Max

    Feb 1 50/60/76
    Feb 2 56/63/75
    Feb 3 56/67/77
    Feb 4 50/59/72
    Feb 5 54/55/60
    Hi everyone, another member asked me to pop in over here after I got caught up on the case.

    Several thoughts:
    I took a look at the photos kindly provided by SillyB, and am a little confused trying to figure out what K9 SAR technique would have been used to effectively clear the roof.
    Two main reasons:

    1-The issue with the water confuses me; it's been listed as a cistern in some articles and a water tank in others. So possible problem in translation? One is open, the other is sealed. That makes a big difference in scent dog work. Especially if it is made of a non-permeable material.

    2-How was access gained for K9(s) to the roof? Is there internal access to the roof, as there is in most multiple storey structures?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oriah View Post
    Hi everyone, another member asked me to pop in over here after I got caught up on the case.

    Several thoughts:
    I took a look at the photos kindly provided by SillyB, and am a little confused trying to figure out what K9 SAR technique would have been used to effectively clear the roof.
    Two main reasons:

    1-The issue with the water confuses me; it's been listed as a cistern in some articles and a water tank in others. So possible problem in translation? One is open, the other is sealed. That makes a big difference in scent dog work. Especially if it is made of a non-permeable material.

    2-How was access gained for K9(s) to the roof? Is there internal access to the roof, as there is in most multiple storey structures?
    Hello there thanks for taking the time to answer some questions and offer your insight..

    To answer your questions. I's a water tank, looks to be made of galvanized sheet metal, probably coated with epoxy on the interior.

    The dogs would have used a stair well that leads to the roof

    In a picture of the roof you'll see the 4 water tanks, right next to them is the 2 level elevator mechanical building and maybe 20 feet from that you'll see a smaller structure with a single door, looks like a fancy outhouse, that would be where the stairs lead to the roof
    Last edited by noodled1; 03-11-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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    Does anyone know on what level the dog(s) were brought in to work? Did they work the entire stairwell from ground/parking all the way up to the roof?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oriah View Post
    Does anyone know on what level the dog(s) were brought in to work? Did they work the entire stairwell from ground/parking all the way up to the roof?
    I don't think we have that information. About all we know is a remark from the LAPD saying the dogs didn't detect anything on the roof or the areas in the hotel they were allowed to search.

    Quote Originally Posted by LAPD via LA Times
    Los Angeles police investigators searched the roof of the Cecil with the aid of dogs when Lam was reported missing about three weeks ago. Lopez said he didn't know if the tanks were examined.

    "We did a very thorough search of the hotel," he said. "But we didn't search every room; we could only do that if we had probable cause" that a crime had been committed.

    The dogs were brought in when she was still considered a missing person early on
    Love is blind...
    Don't fall so in love with your theory you're blind to it's flaws

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by noodled1 View Post
    I don't think we have that information. About all we know is a remark from the LAPD saying the dogs didn't detect anything on the roof or the areas in the hotel they were allowed to search.




    The dogs were brought in when she was still considered a missing person early on
    <bbm>

    WADR, I don't believe that's quite accurate. LE didn't say the dogs didn't detect anything. We know the search didn't result in them finding Elisa in the water tank (if her body was in fact there at the time of the search), but we don't know if they alerted at any time within the hotel or on the rooftop. They could have alerted somewhere, just that we haven't been told one way or another.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillybilly View Post
    <bbm>

    WADR, I don't believe that's quite accurate. LE didn't say the dogs didn't detect anything. We know the search didn't result in them finding Elisa in the water tank (if her body was in fact there at the time of the search), but we don't know if they alerted at any time within the hotel or on the rooftop. They could have alerted somewhere, just that we haven't been told one way or another.

    That's true
    Love is blind...
    Don't fall so in love with your theory you're blind to it's flaws


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oriah View Post
    Does anyone know on what level the dog(s) were brought in to work? Did they work the entire stairwell from ground/parking all the way up to the roof?
    Thank you so much for your time and input. I have a few quick questions.

    If a person is reported missing what type of dog is usually brought in? (i.e. search, water,corpse) not sure if this is the correct lingo but I'm sure you get the idea. I'm assuming search but know nothing about this sort of thing.

    Can you take us briefly through what would happen if you were leading a dog in a search of this type?

    Would they start at the persons hotel room and attempt to pick up a scent & follow it from there?

    Do you think it is common to have the dogs on the roof or do you believe that the dogs led the handler there?

    Once on the roof, if say 5 days passed would the area of the search(roof) still hold a scent for the dogs to follow and is it possible that a dog would be able to detect a body in the water tank?

    Thanks so much
    Last edited by OCSlacker; 03-11-2013 at 08:01 PM.

  12. #12
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    Hey Oriah

    Thank you so much for being here and taking time out of your real life. Hope your pups are doing better today (and that the vet is being kind to you .. mine always sees me coming ).

  13. #13
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    I would also just like to add my thank's to Oriah.

    ( OT - Sillybilly - Naomi has posted again in the Gunning / Knott thread. )
    " The more we learn, the more we discover how much we do not know. "
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  14. #14
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    Good thread

    I know we have a links thread but I thought I'd post this anyway.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...&ct=clnk&gl=us


    I think it's related to noodled1's quote above

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    Hi, Oriah! Sorry I missed you today. Thanks so much for helping us out here.
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