Tuesday, the family of an American tourist whose body was found in Mexico said they think he “was the victim of a brutal crime.”
Elliot Blair, who was from California and worked as a public defender in Orange County, died on January 14 at the Las Rocas Resort and Spa on Rosarito Beach, south of Tijuana, on the western coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
Investigators first thought Blair died from a fall, but a specific injury on his forehead “would not have been caused by a fall,” a local law enforcement official told ABC News on Monday.
The State Attorney General’s Office of Baja California later released a statement saying that Blair’s death “was the result of an unfortunate accident caused by the deceased falling from a third floor.”
The office stated that the investigation is ongoing and that it is in contact with U.S. authorities via the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, “who are collaborating and have information about the investigation to send to family who want it.”
A 33-year-old California, USA lawyer has been killed at a popular resort in Mexico during a trip with his wife, a fellow lawyer, where they went to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
Elliot Blair, an assistant public defender in Orange County, died Saturday, January 14 pic.twitter.com/xbfcRC0xvb
— Makesense Promotions (@makesensepromot) January 17, 2023
In a press release, an attorney for Blair’s family said that Mexican authorities “still have not reached out to the family with this information.”
“The family is devastated that since this incident, no one from the Rosarito Beach Police Department, their district attorney’s office, or any other Mexican officials have reached out and spoken to them directly,” the attorney said. “The only communication that the family has received has been through a liaison to the coroner’s office.”
The coroner’s office told Blair’s family on Monday that “severe head trauma was the cause of death” and that the case had been sent to the district attorney’s office for a possible homicide investigation, the lawyer said.
“The family informed the liaison that they would be conducting their own independent investigation, specifically hiring a private investigation firm, retaining an independent forensic pathologist to conduct a medical examination, including their own toxicology analysis,” the attorney added.
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The lawyer said that Blair and his “loving wife,” Kim Williams, were going to Mexico to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. The couple was staying in a room on the third floor of Las Rocas Resort and Spa, where they had stayed “many times” in the past five years.
The “incident” that led to Blair’s death “occurred in an open-air walkway outside the front door of their room,” the lawyer said. Blair was found in the T-shirt, underwear, and socks he slept in. The lawyer says he was “very familiar” with the hotel’s layout, spoke Spanish fluently, and “was not drunk at the time” of the incident.
After doing a toxicology report, the police said on Tuesday that Blair had a “considerable” amount of alcohol in his body. Police also said that there were no signs of a fight or argument in the hotel room, which they went back and looked through again on Monday.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State told that they are aware of reports that an American citizen died in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. The State Department is ready to help in any way it can, according to the spokesperson, who wouldn’t say anything else out of respect for the family in this hard time.
#twitter #BMPRT #BreakingNews #BREAKING #NewsUpdate #news #california #bayarea
SoCal public defender dies while on vacation in Mexico; family believes he was killedhttps://t.co/F6MuoSamOd pic.twitter.com/Vy8ke4tFJO
— Brett Murphy (@bmurphypointman) January 17, 2023
A representative for the State Attorney General’s Office of Baja California told that Blair’s body is still in Mexico. A spokesperson said that investigators have done a second check of the hotel and sent the evidence to a lab, where the results are still pending. The lawyer for Blair’s family said that Mexican officials have always said that the body should be burned.
“Yesterday, during a conversation with the funeral home liaison, it was again suggested he be cremated and the family insisted his body not be cremated in order to conduct a thorough, complete, independent investigation,” the attorney added.
Also, the lawyer said that Blair’s wife, who is also an Orange County public defender, “has been given different versions of what happened to Elliot.” In the press release, Elliot was called “a brilliant attorney with a bright future” and “a loving husband, son and brother.”
“The family, which has extensive legal training in criminal law, wholeheartedly believes based on their initial investigation, that Elliot was the victim of a brutal crime,” the attorney said. “Elliot’s tragic, untimely, and suspicious death has left his family and community with a huge hole in their hearts that will never be repaired.”
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