Missing Vancouver woman Elisa Lam was staying in L.A.’s ‘skid row’

A 21-year-old Canadian woman who disappeared in Los Angeles while travelling alone appears to have been staying in a particularly dangerous part of the city.

The Los Angeles Police Department reports that Elisa Lam, 21, has not been heard from in over a week. She was last seen on Jan. 31, by staff at the Cecil Hotel, located on South Main Street and in downtown L.A.

B.C. woman missing in Los AngelesA frantic search is underway for a 21-year-old UBC student who was travelling alone

The area borders the Los Angeles neighbourhood known as skid row, an area with a history of drugs, homelessness and crime.

[ Related: Missing Vancouver woman sought in Los Angeles ]

Comments about the Cecil Hotel, posted on TripAdviser.com, suggest the area around the hotel would not be particularly welcoming for young women travelling alone.

One such review:

hotel cecil is a fine establishment - - that is if you are looking to be mugged, harassed by junkies, winos etc. and by all means do not take your women folk, children to the area. in the heart of skid row and very dangerous.

While recent reviews suggest the hotel itself had made progress recently, the downtown area remains a significant concern.

During a press conference on Wednesday, reporters asked L.A. police whether Lam knew she was staying in a dangerous part of the city.

“I don't believe that she had any idea that might be a location to be worried about,” Lt. Walter Teague said, per CBC News.

[ Related: Alleged Canadian pot kingpin had $2M ‘assassination fund’ ]

Lam, a Vancouver, B.C., resident of Chinese descent, arrived in Los Angeles alone on Jan. 26 and police believe her final destination was to be Santa Cruz. Her disappearance has been described as suspicious.

Her family, who travelled to Los Angeles to help with the search, said she called home every day until Jan. 31.

“It is also known that she tends to use public transportation, such as Amtrak and municipal buses,” police said in a news release.

The search for Lam continues.