Elisa Lam - What Happened?

Discussion in 'Elisa Lam' started by gitana1, Mar 2, 2013.

?

Why did Elisa die?

  1. Homicide/crime of opportunity - Murder due to chance encounter with someone on the day she died

    162 vote(s)
    47.4%
  2. Homicide/preplanned - Elisa was lured to her death in a scheme planned before the day she died

    46 vote(s)
    13.5%
  3. Accidental death - related to an altered mental state: drug induced, psychosis, sleep walking, etc.

    86 vote(s)
    25.1%
  4. Suicide - Elisa intended to end her life due to mental issues/other

    7 vote(s)
    2.0%
  5. Occult/supernatural/conspiracy - related to occult, supernatural phenomena or gov./other conspiracy

    5 vote(s)
    1.5%
  6. Unsure/Do not know

    36 vote(s)
    10.5%
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  1. findinganatta

    findinganatta New Member

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    No, it states that they were found in the tank with her. The clothes are discussed in a couple of parts of the report, and it's clarified that they were found in the tank in the second mention, I believe.
     


  2. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    Found it interesting her hoodie was noted to be wet while the other items were not noted to be wet...? I'll read on further to see if it gives reason why.

    * I think coroner just forgot to mention other items were already dry and sweater was wet still probably bc of its thickness/weight.

    (poor Elisa)
     
  3. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    I wonder why sand would be on her clothes even after they had been in the tank? Hm.
     
  4. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    Strange she was floating face up...???
     
  5. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    Noted she had no prior suicide attempts or ideations. Also find it interested both accidental and "not determined" were checked... Accidental on 6-15 then not determined on 6-18 but then crossed out and "error" written next to it...
     
  6. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    I will say her state of decomposition (from what has been written and descripted) it seems advanced enough for her to have been deceased for more than a few days when she had been found.

    So for anyone thinking she might have looked as if she had not been deceased very long, it's not necessarily so from what I can see. IMO.
     
  7. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    It does state that the cistern was 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full.

    Her clothes, watch, and a hotel room key card were also recovered from the tank.
     
  8. findinganatta

    findinganatta New Member

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    It says that all of her clothing was "sopping wet" on the 'Criminalist Report'. Some of the stuff was probably dry by the time the coroner got to it. They do mention the clothes being on drying mats right after that.

    As for the particulates, I remember someone who had worked with or around cisterns stating that sediment gathers in the bottom, hence the reason the exit pipes are a few inches up from the bottom. My guess would be that her clothes were at the bottom of the tank, potentially lying in sediment. I fail to see how a sand-like substance would remain on her clothes after being underwater for a long time unless the sand-like substance was in the water with the clothing.
     
  9. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    Interesting the decomposition process of degloving had began and marbleization as well. And skin slippage. She must have been deceased for some time, especially with the ideal conditions with that cistern being cold and preserving her body more than if she had been decomposing out of water.

    You mentioned it said the lid was locked right? Or no?

    How could this have been an accident if the tests didn't read positive for drugs or alcohol? I would assume if it were an accident it would be drug related and if it were a suicide it would be bipolar related...IMOO

    Maybe she was too decomposed to get an adequate sample? Thing is they found levels of 2 of her prescriptions in her system so
    I'm assuming any illicit drugs would still be in her system too, but there were none IMHO.

    So many little details to go over and over again on my end. Wow.
     
  10. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    You'd think they'd find remnants of sand and those white particles that were on her clothes and in the water still in her lungs when she inhaled/asphyxiated on the water when drowning.

    Going to double check to see if they noted it....
     
  11. findinganatta

    findinganatta New Member

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    The lid was unlocked, according to the autopsy report. But the police report would probably be a more accurate place to find out the lid's exact condition when the maintenance man found it.

    This has been discussed ad nauseum earlier in this and other threads, but the idea behind the accidental death is not that she committed suicide. The idea is that due to her mental state, she made decisions that lead to an accidental death. That is the simplest way I can put it. Let's say she was having an episode of manic psychosis. That would mean she was having delusional ideas, a sense of invincibility, and a compulsion to do certain things that simply wouldn't make sense to you or I. Therefore, for reasons that--again--we cannot logically work out, she decided to get into the cistern. At that point, whether because she could not get back out or some other reason, she ended up drowning. That is the most logical theory behind a bipolar-related accidental death in this case.

    To try to make logical sense out of her decisions in a scenario like the one I just described is folly. Whatever thought processes she was having in the elevator video are not necessarily the thought processes she was having on the roof. People in these states are highly illogical, unpredictable, can shift from one delusion to another, and it is simply impossible to carry a line of logic through her behavior IF she was indeed in a bipolar psychosis. This kind of mental state is well-established, is fairly common among people with acute bipolar disorder, especially when they are changing, adding, or subtracting medications from their regimen. Fortunately, it doesn't usually lead to death, just as drug-related delusions don't usually lead to death, but both definitely CAN lead to death. And to clarify, bipolar people do not walk around in this state all of the time. It is an episode, and it might happen a few times in a bipolar person's whole life. Or more often, it just depends. It may never happen in people who are not acutely bipolar. These are just the facts of the psychology behind it.

    Personally, I am always on the fence :fence: But I maintain a leaning toward accidental death due to mental illness, as I have for months. Our knowledge of what happened is not consistent enough to tie it to any one theory perfectly, but I think the preponderance of evidence suggests a very tragic accidental death. And the bizarre nature of it just adds a level of mystery that might not be there had she died in a car or something more common, but due to the same mental state. But I can understand that there are questions that leave open the possibility of foul play. I just think those questions wouldn't be scrutinized by us all so much if the means of death weren't so weird.
     
  12. BlueShoe

    BlueShoe Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for sharing the autopsy information. I was particularly interested in the clothes and watch found in the tank. This means that if she was murdered, the clothes were thrown in with the body to hide evidence. If she was having a psychotic episode, it means she removed her clothes within the tank. These findings make me lean slightly more towards the psychotic episode scenario. This is because of the watch. If someone attacked her and suffocated her, it seems like she would have still been wearing her watch. However, if the watch was not on her wrist, it seems like she herself would have removed it while in the tank. It also seems strange that she was wearing a watch in the first place--unless she was scheduled to meet someone at a certain time. But if she was delusional, she may have worn to watch for an unknown purpose.
     
  13. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    Sorry but even psychosis wouldn't make her do that. She has no history of doing so.
     
  14. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    I don't think you and I are reading the same medical examination. Sorry. I don't see how you can even think she drown, much less accidentally. Even her body, the position when found, wasn't consistent with drowning bc she was floating face up. When ppl drown they float face down after and their limbs hang freely. Unless some pressure in the cistern was able flip her body over and whirl it around?

    Did you notice how accidental and not determined were both ticked? Albeit error was written next to "not determined" when it was written in on 6/18 AFTER the "accidental" was ticked on 6/15?

    Why?!?!?!
     
  15. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    Why on earth would she take her watch off, and her clothes off, and throw them in the tank before "jumping" in or take them off in there? How was the entrance hatch closed after she jumped in? You'd think LE would have noticed/noted if the hatch were open all those 19 days.

    You would think shed leave the clothes outside of the tank even if she were "imagining" the cistern was an ocean or swimming pool (wow, she'd have to really be out of it)...

    It seems more to me like someone wanted to throw her clothes in there too along with her body to get her clothes with her scent and body out of their possession.

    The items being soiled and submerged for so long probably left them with little DNA evidence if there was any, same with Elisa's body between the water and skin slippage - and her body looking AS IF it were about a week into decomp (given she was deceased most likely much longer, but the cold water in the cistern actually helped preserve her body) it's damn hard to get any credible sample from that...

    I understand that the coroner has made his decision based on not only body but circumstantial/tangental evidence, but even then accidental doesn't make sense to me in this circumstance of her death. I believe not determined should have been utilized bc the variables are still so vast that to even say accidental seems like pigeon holding.
     
  16. Conductor71

    Conductor71 New Member

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    My whole issue with the autopsy report is that there is nothing more to substantiate the accidental ruling. More questions are raised than answered. How can LE expect any overt evidence of homicide after nearly three weeks have elapsed at thw scene? Why is no evidence necessary to support that an accident took place? At the very least there should be a statement on file from her psychiatrist validating that she was indeed be treating for Bipolar disorder. The report names her sister as the source for her "diagnosis".

    The drug report is completely unreliable as there was not sufficient blood from which to draw samples. From what I have found in researching, you can only measure levels of most drugs within a few days and three weeks had elapased in EL's case. In essence, the coroner is ruling based on the video and LE failure to find any overt evidence of homicide. In fact, I don't think EL did much investigating at all. There are even more questions now. In the coroner's summary, he says (paraphrasing) there is insufficient samples to determine drug levels in her system, so this limits interpretation. Then, as noted, the report is dated 6/18 as "undetermined" but marked error, and "accideent" is checked dated 6/15. I find it odd that the attending medical examiner who in filling out the report would make that error if the deqth were unequivocally an accident.
    The only test they requested was a basic toxicology panel for pending cause of death; no police report, medical history, or criminalistics reports were ordered.
    This means they essentially used little more evidence than we had to determine mannner of death. Wow.

    A criminalist collected evidence from her body. It was reported there were no signs of visible signs of trauma. They took specifically a fingernail kit and sexual assault kit; these were at the cellular level. However, according to the report these tests were not ordered.

    Both the coroner and police notice the sand like particulate matter (the detective note a white particle too) throughout her clothing. If this were tank sediment two questions emerge: Why was this same particulate not present or not present in her hair? Sediment settles at the bottom, so do water logged clothes. Logic tells you that the distribution would be concentrated in clumps depending on where fabric rested or on the bottom. The description of this made it seem like the matter was scattered in an evenl and diffuse way throughout all garments. This means EL rolled around the sand in her bed clothes? This is ignored trace evidence. See Locard's principle of forensic science:

    Physical evidence cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value.

    It is really remarkable to me that no trace evidence was analyzed or considered. This report certainly does not sufficiently support the ruling, IMO.
     
  17. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    what is interesting about her tox screening for drugs, they did find her antipsychotic meds were still in her system. No other street drugs or alcohol were in her system. They were able to get a read on all other drug levels for ibuprofen, venlafaxine, lamotrogine, and buproprion metabolites. The Quantity was not sufficient to show just how much was left in her system bc they didn't have sufficient amount of blood to quantify against her BMI I believe. So the fact she had been taking her meds - why would she go into psychosis when taking her meds? And furthermore if no illicit substances were found in her system and were all labeled as ND( not detected) then this rules out for me the idea that she went into the tank bc she was inebriated.

    And yes her sister is the only source it seems for her "diagnosis".

    Thank you! It is frustrating beyond belief to me as well. And typically when people drown they choke and you see trauma in the larynx - her larynx seemed perfect from how the dissection reads!

    Oh man I'm going to read what you wrote again as well as the other Sleuthers that have commented on this case. Everyone's opinions are vast, but give insight into possibilities. Sorry if I seem upset when writing on my thread - I promise all my frustration is with this report, not you guys. You guys are doing awesome and I feel a kindred spirit with all of you considering Elisa's case has touched all of us so deeply.
     
  18. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    Great point!

    I personally believed if someone was involved in killing her and trying to dispose of evidence, they might just throw her watch in with her other belongings to be rid it. No more ties. I think they would want to see her naked without a watch on (sorry I know this is dark, but it's just my opinion). Or they would strip her entire body in preparation for disposing of her, including her watch.

    I hope, if someone did kill her, that they will be brought to justice. I feel this investigation was REALLY screwed up.
     
  19. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    Also to let everyone know, she had 2 loose dexedrine expansule pills and a few loose ibuprofens found when LE found her medications.

    but all the records of her meds found do not indicate any sort of excessive self medicating/dosage.

    All of her psychiatric meds (with the exception of the 2 loose dexedrines and ibuprofen) were prescribed by the same physician. So it doesn't look like she was "doctor shopping". She got her prescripts filled on the jan the 11th. She had plenty of her meds left when she disappeared.
     
  20. 2Hip2BSquare

    2Hip2BSquare Former Member

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    Drowning and forensics:

    "Drowning and Forensics
    Author: Jack Claridge - Updated: 6 July 2013 | Comment

    Drowning almost always occurs as a result of an accident. It is quite a staggering and sobering thought that many of those people who drown each year in the United Kingdom do so because they have never been taught how to swim or simply have a morbid fear of water and when introduced to it panic and so drown.

    What Happens as a Person Drowns?
    As an individual drowns their lungs will fill with water and the ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream is diminished and as you struggle to breathe water is forced into the sinuses. Losing your air supply and also using up too much energy will lead to the oxygen in your blood falling rapidly and as a result the individual will lose consciousness in a very short space of time.


    Drowning and Crime
    Drowning is difficult to prove beyond the accidental death stage simply because of the nature in which it happens. Proving that an unknown assailant in some way aided the death of another by drowning is difficult to establish and can usually only be established if there are physical wounds such as cuts or bruises or indeed if an eye witness has saw the event take place.


    The pathologist will attempt to reconstruct what happened by first determining what didn't happen. This may sound a little contradictory but it is the easiest way to rule out anything other than accidental death. Quite simply if the pathologist has been asked to autopsy a body that was found in water but does not have any physical injuries or problems with heart disease then the most likely conclusion is that death was caused by drowning and is then listed as death by misadventure.

    Indeed there may well be occasions when it proves difficult to establish whether or not the deceased was alive when they entered the water; this is because that even if an individual is deceased when they enter the water, providing the body remains submerged for a period of time, then the lungs will fill up anyway.

    Occasionally a condition called 'dry drowning' may present itself; this is where the deceased's larynx has gone into spasm as water has entered the throat, thus the passage to the lungs is blocked and any water that is already in there cannot get out and more water cannot get in.

    The pathologist will however look for signs of haemorrhaging - blood in the lungs where the sheer force has caused them to bleed and also any remnants of the surroundings in which the deceased was found. These might include pieces of plant life only found underwater, stones or rocks and evidence of clawing on the fingers and hands in order to try and escape.

    A pathologist will also attempt to provide evidence that the deceased died in fresh or salt water. This is particularly useful if there are suspicions of foul play. For example if the deceased is found in salt water but the water in their lungs is fresh water than it can be reasonably assumed that they did not die in that body of water in which they were found.

    Without this particular test yielding any results drowning is something a pathologist will find difficult to prove as accident or foul play so it is important that they keep an open mind throughout."
     
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