An autopsy did not determine the cause of death of a 21-year-old Canadian tourist whose body was found wedged in a water tank atop a downtown Los Angeles hotel, authorities said. More tests must be performed after an autopsy performed on Thursday did not provide definitive answers into whether Elisa Lam of Vancouver was killed or if she fell victim to a bizarre accident. Coroner’s officials will await toxicology tests before making a final determination. Lam’s body was found on Tuesday in a water cistern atop the downtown Cecil Hotel. Police called her death suspicious. Guest complaints about low water pressure prompted a maintenance worker to make the gruesome discovery.
Court to hear ‘Joker’ case
An assize court in Ghent yesterday was due to hear a 53-page charge sheet against a young man who disguised himself as Batman foe “The Joker” before going on a killing spree at a nursery four years ago that chilled the nation. Kim de Gelder, now 24, would be formally charged with killing two infants and their 54-year-old minder in an attack on the Fable Land daycare center in the town of Dendermonde in 2009. He would also be accused of murdering an elderly woman in a separate attack a week earlier and be charged for the attempted murder of 22 people, including 16 babies and toddlers at the creche.
UN rejects cholera claim
The UN has rejected a claim for damages on behalf of more than 5,000 Haitian cholera victims and their families, citing diplomatic immunity. The claim was filed in November 2011 by the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, a Boston-based human rights group. It argued that the UN and its peacekeeping force were liable for hundreds of millions of dollars for failing to adequately screen peacekeeping soldiers, citing studies indicating that infected soldiers caused the cholera outbreak. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said the UN informed representatives of the group of the rejection on Thursday.
‘Exploitations’ panned by US
The US ambassador to Russia has called on Russian authorities and the press to stop “sensational exploitations” of the death of an adopted boy in the US. Last month’s death of three-year-old Max Shatto fueled a fight over Russian adoptions in the US as senior Russian officials accused the boy’s mother of killing him. The medical examiner’s office in West Texas has not officially pronounced the cause of death yet. In a Friday blog post, US Ambassador Michael McFaul called on Russians to stop “sensational exploitations” of human tragedy and get back to working together.