The death of an Orange County public defender last week at a Baja California resort, labeled an “unfortunate accident” by Mexican authorities, has raised several unanswered questions with little to no investigation by local police, the family of the man said. man in a statement.
Elliot Blair, 33, died Saturday in Rosarito while staying at the Las Rocas Resort and Spa with his wife, Kimberly Williams, to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, according to a statement from his family.
The Mexican authorities’ story leaves too many unanswered questions, the families of Blair and Williams said in a joint statement, adding that they would hire a private investigative firm and an independent forensic pathologist to conduct a medical examination and toxicology analysis. feed.
“The family, who have extensive legal training in criminal justice, sincerely believe, based on their initial investigation, that Elliot was the victim of a brutal crime,” the statement said.
Mexican authorities told the Orange County Register that Blair fell from “a third floor” and that his death was accidental. The Spanish-language publication Noticias BC reported that a man like Blair fell from a fourth-floor hotel room.
But Blair’s family claims the incident took place in an open-air walkway outside the front door of his room. According to a family statement, he was found in his underwear, sleeping T-shirt and socks. Blair and Williams have vacationed at the Rosarito resort several times over the past five years, staying in the third-floor room, the family said.
Mexican authorities also told the Registry that they are in contact with the US Justice Department and FBI, which are sharing information with Blair’s family.
But his family said no one from the Rosarito Beach Police Department or other Mexican officials has contacted the family directly, the statement said.
Attempts to reach the Baja California Attorney General’s office on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Blair has worked at the state’s attorney’s office since 2017, the year he passed the bar exam, handling crimes from the Santa Ana office.
“Elliot was a brilliant lawyer with a bright future,” the family said. “Elliot’s smile was radiant and warmed the hearts of everyone he came in contact with. Elliot had an innate ability to connect with people from all walks of life. Elliot was a loving husband, son and brother. 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.
The families of Blair and Williams have only had contact with a contact through the coroner’s office who contacted them on Sunday afternoon. The contact said that according to the medical examiner’s office, Blair died of severe head trauma, but a toxicology report has not yet been completed. The case was forwarded to the district attorney’s office for a possible murder investigation, the statement said.
Blair’s family said Mexican authorities have proposed cremating Blair’s body. A funeral home contact made the same suggestion, but Blair’s family insist that his body be preserved so they can conduct a thorough, independent investigation.
While Blair’s family has not spoken to Mexican authorities, a news report quoted officials as claiming Blair’s death was an “unfortunate accident,” officials still have not spoken to the family.
Williams has been given multiple versions of what happened to Blair. Their families claim his body was not found under the balcony of the couple’s room or any other balcony at the resort, and that Blair was familiar with the layout of the resort and spoke fluent Spanish.
Blair’s family did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Times staff writer Alexandra E. Petri contributed to this report.