First news reports

LittleWing

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Wow. I'm not at all surprised to hear this conclusion. I know a lot of people will continue to push back against the known facts and will not let go of their conviction that something else must have happened, but I really think the authorities got it right, based on everything we know. I'm just glad to FINALLY have some closure to the ongoing mystery.

I personally don't have a conviction either way...that's just me though, I'm like a walking grey area. Lol. But I'm not going to accept what they say unless I can see for myself why they came to these conclusions, and that it's not a conclusion of convenience.

What I find disturbing is that I could go out and be put in a water tank tomorrow and because of my history of severe depression it could be ruled as suicide or some sort of freak accident. I realise that mental illness is the root in a lot of cases but surely mentally ill people also die by foul play.





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findinganatta

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I wondered if they were satisfied with this conclusion. I just find it so implausible that someone could have an acute psychotic episode without anyone close to her noticing behavior changes and then letting her travel alone. This is neat and tidy, so simple it may be the case.
snipped
If by 'neat and tidy' you mean that it's the easiest explanation, then sure. But most deaths are explained that way. This one just happened to have some features that trigger our sense of creepiness. But if you strip away all of those superficial trappings, it's no weirder than this: a mentally ill person doing something dangerous and dying.
I personally don't have a conviction either way...that's just me though, I'm like a walking grey area. Lol. But I'm not going to accept what they say unless I can see for myself why they came to these conclusions, and that it's not a conclusion of convenience.

What I find disturbing is that I could go out and be put in a water tank tomorrow and because of my history of severe depression it could be ruled as suicide or some sort of freak accident. I realise that mental illness is the root in a lot of cases but surely mentally ill people also die by foul play.
Sure, mentally ill people die of foul play (probably in higher rates than non-mentally ill people, frankly), but I suspect they're going on the evidence to determine that she wasn't murdered (and the lack of evidence for murder). And then from there, they're probably assessing that if she indeed climbed into the tank and died, it was most likely due to the mental illness that she suffered with (as opposed to just being something she did while clear-headed and non-psychotic). On top of that, they know she was acting bizarrely in the video and yet she wasn't on drugs. I guess it's debatable whether she was acting strangely or not, but in my opinion it's clear, regardless of what was or wasn't happening off-camera.

I don't know that we'll ever know the actual evidence, though... anyone know the laws or standards about that? I know that kind of info comes out in a lot of high-profile cases, but it doesn't seem to always come out.
 

bakergurl

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I will never forget the nightmares the elevator
footage gave me.
We had discussed that it was either drugs or
a mental break.
I still don't get how she was able to climb/fall
Into the water tank. She must have really thought
someone was chasing her.
Poor girl must have been so frightened.
Creepy too.
 

Conductor71

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I personally don't have a conviction either way...that's just me though, I'm like a walking grey area. Lol. But I'm not going to accept what they say unless I can see for myself why they came to these conclusions, and that it's not a conclusion of convenience.

What I find disturbing is that I could go out and be put in a water tank tomorrow and because of my history of severe depression it could be ruled as suicide or some sort of freak accident. I realise that mental illness is the root in a lot of cases but surely mentally ill people also die by foul play.


This is what concerns me. It also feeds nicely into the stereotype of people with mental disorders. I am sure this case will be used to help educate others; at least I hope so. I read that there is a nearly 40% misdiagnostic error rate with Bipolar Disorder, so I even question that diagnosis as being part of her autopsy. I wonder if they did a thorough psych autopsy?

Now onto the police. It is quite well known that LE usually pursue these type of investigations with a bias toward accident, so that is what they pursue in evidence. I read that a significant number of accidental drowning deaths are misclassified. Drowning is a common form of accidental death, but it usually involves bathtubs and lakes or pools. Things that people do in every day life like swim or bathe. It is not that I don't believe her mental state could have caused this, but I feel they need to provide way more evidence than this. This seems to be the consensus of commenters out there too.

What bothers me is that no one can give hard evidence she climbed in there. No SAR dogs detected her. However, did anyone even check for her prints on the tank and/or ladders? This is so basic, but I really am beginning to think that with all the attention on Dorner, LE may have slacked on this and with two weeks elapsing before they found her how much forensic evidence would even still be viable. They need to provide details like was she clothed. Did they find her prints on the tank. Why is not one iota of the police investigation not being disclosed?





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LittleWing

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Fantastic points Findinganatta and Conductor71 I agree with both of you :)

Yes the circumstances surrounding Elisa's death ...the creepy video,
the seedy hotel full of criminals and sex offenders in equally seedy neighbourhood, her being a young woman travelling alone, found in a water tank....they do add to the suspicion and point to foul play.

Yet normal days happen even at this hotel too, days that go by where nothing strange happens.

Conductor71, there are SO many little details yes like fingerprints, traces of her scent on the roof, whether she was found naked, where her clothes/glasses/other belongings were, if she left any notes or any sort of evidence that might point to a psychotic break, did they find a camera with photos from the roof? Etc etc. maybe her phone calls to her family, which were reported to happen every day, revealed more about her state of mind...etc. will we ever know these details? Where are they kept?




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LittleWing

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Can I post screencaps of the emails I got if I black out personal names and email addresses? Would anyone like to see?


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Marlon

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Like i thought from the begimning,.. A freak accident and an internet audience with a large imagination which i am part of.

Im sorry for anyone who cant except the final report.

Im out.
 

walklikeacat

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Like i thought from the begimning,.. A freak accident and an internet audience with a large imagination which i am part of.

Im sorry for anyone who cant except the final report.

Im out.
Did you ever read about what happen in Woodlands, Singapore in May, 2011? A man dragged and lifted his girlfriend from the elevator, up on the roof through a locked and alarmed door. Up through the ladders and on the top of the water tank, opened the latch and lowered her into the tank.

So it sure can be done. I am not convinced that this was an accident, it is rather difficult to accidentally fall into a 14 inch hole.
 

LittleWing

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Marlon that's rather mean-spirited. I think the majority of us just want to understand why and how the LE came to their conclusion.



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LittleWing

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Did you ever read about what happen in Woodlands, Singapore in May, 2011? A man dragged and lifted his girlfriend from the elevator, up on the roof through a locked and alarmed door. Up through the ladders and on the top of the water tank, opened the latch and lowered her into the tank.

So it sure can be done. I am not convinced that this was an accident, it is rather difficult to accidentally fall into a 14 inch hole.

I had not heard of that! Gosh.

We have to take into consideration that a person high on certain drugs or even just adrenaline can become very strong.


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LittleWing

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Hope these don't blow the margins.

The initial email was received around 9.30 pm Australian eastern time, which is something like 4.30 am la time.



And here is the second email:




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BlueShoe

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I'd be curious to know how they would determine "Accidental" versus "Suicide." One reason I always thought this could not be accidental is because of the size of the opening on the water tank. If you start to fall into a small opening, your reflexes would automatically cause your arms to move away from your side. If you still fell in, the sides of your arms would be seriously bruised. Unless that bruising could not be seen after a while in the water tank, I would be reluctant to call this an accident without that kind of evidence. But, who knows? I'm not privy to all the information, so maybe the coroner's ruling is correct.
 

LittleWing

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I'd be curious to know how they would determine "Accidental" versus "Suicide." One reason I always thought this could not be accidental is because of the size of the opening on the water tank. If you start to fall into a small opening, your reflexes would automatically cause your arms to move away from your side. If you still fell in, the sides of your arms would be seriously bruised. Unless that bruising could not be seen after a while in the water tank, I would be reluctant to call this an accident without that kind of evidence. But, who knows? I'm not privy to all the information, so maybe the coroner's ruling is correct.

I agree.

But Elisa did not have to have fallen in in order to wind up drowning accidentally. She could have gotten in purposefully for whatever reason and simply was unable to get out.


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walklikeacat

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I'd be curious to know how they would determine "Accidental" versus "Suicide." One reason I always thought this could not be accidental is because of the size of the opening on the water tank. If you start to fall into a small opening, your reflexes would automatically cause your arms to move away from your side. If you still fell in, the sides of your arms would be seriously bruised. Unless that bruising could not be seen after a while in the water tank, I would be reluctant to call this an accident without that kind of evidence. But, who knows? I'm not privy to all the information, so maybe the coroner's ruling is correct.
Yes, I am thinking the same in describing what you actually do with your body when you about to fall. That if I her reflexes were working normally. And how did she get up there at that heights? There are usually no ladders available, if you don´t make it from the roof of the store room...which would be with great danger. I think it will be much more to say about this case and I will need an explanation how she did get up there.
 

findinganatta

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Did you ever read about what happen in Woodlands, Singapore in May, 2011? A man dragged and lifted his girlfriend from the elevator, up on the roof through a locked and alarmed door. Up through the ladders and on the top of the water tank, opened the latch and lowered her into the tank.

So it sure can be done. I am not convinced that this was an accident, it is rather difficult to accidentally fall into a 14 inch hole.
Wow I hadn't heard that story. I assume that the woman must have had marks or bruises on her body after that, depending on whether she was dead or not.

Personally, I do not think she accidentally fell into the tank. I've always suspected she crawled in, and not necessarily because she was running from a real or imagined person/thing. It's impossible for us to be inside her (most likely deluded) mind, but there are countless reasons she could have gotten in.
 

mjak

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Who knows why they didn't release the drowning info earlier? Personally, I don't see what that has to do with the conclusion. I do know that, according to the FBI website, determining a drowning is actually quite simple, even with a body that has significantly decomposed. So I'm confident they determined it earlier, and simply didn't release it until now for whatever reasons.

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I think the inital release of cause of death undetermined and deffered to toxicology report is significant. As you said yourself it is fairly easity to diagnose drowning. yes, I know there are exceptions, but for the most part the evidence of drowing in ones body is pretty easy to determine at autopsy. Thus, from the undetermined cause of death released from the initial autopsy I have to ask was drowning an autopsy finding or a conclusion after the fact? I can think of no reasons not have simply released cause of death drowning, manner of death undetermined pending toxicology results. It may seem like nit picking words but for some reason it does not sit will with me. Maybe because the whole picture of Ms. Lam's death is so difficult to digest. I absolutly believe this could have been an accident if she was in a psychosis. However, I think other scenerious are much more probable. I have to ask if we did not have the elevator footage would we even consider this death as accidental?

mjak
 

findinganatta

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I'd be curious to know how they would determine "Accidental" versus "Suicide." One reason I always thought this could not be accidental is because of the size of the opening on the water tank. If you start to fall into a small opening, your reflexes would automatically cause your arms to move away from your side. If you still fell in, the sides of your arms would be seriously bruised. Unless that bruising could not be seen after a while in the water tank, I would be reluctant to call this an accident without that kind of evidence. But, who knows? I'm not privy to all the information, so maybe the coroner's ruling is correct.
I do not think of "accidental" as meaning she didn't crawl inside on purpose... I just think it means she didn't crawl inside with the intention of dying. Just like some people drown in pools of 'misadventure' or 'accidental' death, yet they didn't fall into the pool, something just happened while they were in there that caused drowning. In this case, I know bipolar psychosis (and even 'regular,' non-psychotic bipolar symptoms) can cause people to think they have powers/abilities that they don't have, and even to feel invincible. So she may have thought she could pull herself back out. Or maybe she didn't actually think that far ahead because she was in a mentally ill state (that could even happen to a common drunk person). Or maybe she held onto the rim thinking she could hang down into the water, but then couldn't pull herself back up and had to drop into the water eventually. Etc, etc, there are a number of distinct and realistic possibilities. People die of really bad judgement everyday, even many people who have no mental illness at all.

That's my take on how an 'accidental' situation would have happened in this case :) I don't think that she fell in. That just doesn't fit with the facts, in my opinion.
 

AlphaWolf

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- Hopefully any building with a water tank will now learn from this sad story....and keep all tanks locked.

- a little common sense could have prevented this tragedy.
 

findinganatta

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I think the inital release of cause of death undetermined and deffered to toxicology report is significant. As you said yourself it is fairly easity to diagnose drowning. yes, I know there are exceptions, but for the most part the evidence of drowing in ones body is pretty easy to determine at autopsy. Thus, from the undetermined cause of death released from the initial autopsy I have to ask was drowning an autopsy finding or a conclusion after the fact? I can think of no reasons not have simply released cause of death drowning, manner of death undetermined pending toxicology results. It may seem like nit picking words but for some reason it does not sit will with me. Maybe because the whole picture of Ms. Lam's death is so difficult to digest. I absolutly believe this could have been an accident if she was in a psychosis. However, I think other scenerious are much more probable. I have to ask if we did not have the elevator footage would we even consider this death as accidental?

mjak
I guess I interpreted the first autopsy findings differently than you did. I thought the inconclusive part were the details associated with how she drowned, not whether or not she did drown. Which would have lead the coroner to rule it inconclusive, because his/her job was to determine more than just whether or not she drowned.

But if you're right, and they couldn't even determine if she died by drowning or not, that is a little different. I suppose it's possible that the level of decomposition combined with the fact that it's fresh drinking water could affect that. The reason I say the fresh water part is because I know one of the big markers of drowning is bacteria from the water being found in the throat and lungs, but that kind of evidence may not be present in fresh drinking water. But I would think chemicals like chlorine would be present in her lungs, but who knows.
 
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