Body of Canadian woman found in hotel water tank

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm •  Published: February 21, 2013
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The $65-a-night Cecil Hotel was built in the 1920s and refurbished several years ago. The hotel is on Main Street in a part of downtown where efforts at gentrification often conflicts with homelessness and crime. It had once been the occasional home of infamous serial killers such as Richard Ramirez, known as the Night Stalker, and Austrian prison author Jack Unterweger, who was convicted of murdering nine prostitutes in Europe and the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reported.

By noon Wednesday, the Cecil Hotel had relocated 27 rooms used by guests to another hotel, but 11 rooms remained filled, Powell said. Those who chose to remain in the hotel were required to sign a waiver in which they acknowledged being informed of the health risks and were being provided bottled water, Powell said.

British tourist Michael Baugh and his wife said water had only trickled from the tap for days before the body was found.

"The moment we found out, we felt a bit sick to the stomach, quite literally," Baugh said.

County health inspection records show the hotel had minor violations over the past year for mold from the rim of a bath tub and a broken window in a laundry room. There also were complaints on two occasions of bed bugs, but inspectors didn't find any.

Baugh and his wife, who were on their first trip to the U.S., had planned to go to SeaWorld on Wednesday. Instead, they were trying to find a new hotel. Their tour agency placed them in another downtown hotel with a less than sterling reputation, from what they heard.

"We're just going from one dodgy place to another," Baugh said, resigned, "but at least there's water."

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Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/latams. Shaya Tayefe Mohajer contributed to this report.