Elisa Lam with a friend Image Credit: Facebook
"Miss you Lisa" reads a post uploaded by a friend of Elisa Lam seen holding her close to him in his Facebook profile picture, while a couple of more friends of Lam's have recently uploaded pictures of them with their beloved friend who is no more.
High school classmate Alex Ristea of Vancouver called Lam's death shocking and said she was one of the friendliest people he knew.
"This is the last person I expect out of all my friends to have something like this happen to her," Ristea told CTV News.
Ristea further said that he believes Lam was in California only for a holiday, and that she had also posted pictures of her tour locations as she visited them. One of the destinations was San Diego Zoo.
Many a photograph of Elisa Lam can be found if one browsed through Lam's friends' Facebook accounts album. In the pictures, she seems like just another college student, unlike speculations that she was perhaps either drugged or mentally disturbed at the time of her disappearance.
The speculations began when the 21-year-old was seen acting strange in a video released by Los Angeles police department on 15 February. In the video, while at one point Lam seems like she is seen trying to hide from someone outside the elevator, a little later, she is seen stepping out of the elevator, completely exposing herself. This does not seem like the behavior of a person who is hiding away from someone. Lam, in the video is also seen making elaborate hand gestures and talking to herself (as no one else is seen in the video with her).
Also, a report in China says that Lam's friends call her caring and conscientious.
So what exactly happened to Elisa Lam? There are no reports of anyone seeing her after the day of her disappearance. She was last reported being seen by a hostess and desk clerk at the Cecil Hotel who say she was not with anyone, according to China Daily.
An autopsy conducted last week is inconclusive and a toxicology report is now awaited to get a further lead in the case.
"They didn't find any bullet holes, they didn't find any stab wounds to my knowledge. So then you've got to go to the next step," Los Angeles County Coroner's spokesman Ed Winter told Reuters.
He added that the toxicology report will determine if Lam was on any medication at the time of her death. A study of her organs will also determine if she had any medical issues.
"You see if in fact there were any heart issues, did she die of hypothermia, did she drown," said Winter. "Were her lungs filled with water?"
Lam's disappearance has been categorized as suspicious by detectives.
After the autopsy, some media reports said that the LAPD has ruled out any possibility of foul play in Lam's death. However, the rumours have been denied by Alex Martinez, a LAPD public information officer.
He said "there's been no update," from investigators and the cause of death is not yet determined either.
"It just takes a while for coroners to do their thing." he added.
Elisa Lam was last seen on 31 January 2013 at Cecil Hotel Los Angeles, where she cheked in four days earlier. Her dead body was found in the roof top water tank of the same hotel, about 19 days later. Though it is unclear as to why she was in California, her last destination is believed to have been Santa Cruz.
Ever since Lams body was found in Cecil hotel, numerous stories of the 600-room hotel's notorious past have emerged.
The hotel built in the 1920s, has a long history of suicides, murders and unsolved deaths.
To contact the editor, e-mail: