The family of a public defender who died while celebrating his wedding anniversary in Mexico believes he was the victim of a “brutal crime,” their attorney said Tuesday.
Elliot Blair, 33, died Saturday outside his hotel room at the Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito Beach, about 31 miles south of San Diego, attorney David Scarsone said in a statement.
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The incident happened in an open-air walkway on the third floor of the resort, he said.
The US family did not learn of the Californian’s death directly from local authorities; Instead, they learned what happened from a “liaison” at the local coroner’s office, the attorney’s statement said.
The liaison, who is not named in the statement, told the family that Blair died of severe head trauma and that his case had been referred to prosecutors for a possible murder investigation, the statement said.
In a statement to The Orange County Register, the attorney general’s office said Blair’s death appears to have been “the result of an unfortunate accident involving the now deceased falling from a third floor.”
Neither Rosarito Beach Mayor Hilda Araceli Brown Figueredo nor Las Rocas Resort responded to requests for comment Tuesday night.
The Baja California Attorney General did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Mexican authorities said in a statement that they are investigating and are in contact with US officials who are informing Blair’s family, the newspaper reported.
The US State Department said it was aware of reports of the death of a citizen in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.
“We stand ready to provide any reasonable consular assistance,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday. “Out of respect for the family at this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
Blair was found in his underwear and socks and a T-shirt asleep outside a room where he and his wife had stayed in the past, the attorney’s statement said.
Blair was not drunk, it said.
A toxicology report has not been completed, the statement said.
Blair’s family plans to conduct an independent investigation and hire a private investigator and a forensic pathologist, Scarsone said.
“Elliot was a brilliant lawyer with a bright future,” the statement 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.”
Orange County public defender Martin Schwarz told The Register that Blair had worked for the public defender’s office since 2017, the year he passed the bar exam.
His wife Kimberly also worked for the prosecutor, Schwarz told the newspaper.
He said Blair is a “devoted husband, a great person and a fantastic attorney who has dedicated his life to serving his clients and supporting the most vulnerable in the county”.
https://7news.com.au/news/crime/devoted-us-husband-celebrating-wedding-anniversary-found-dead-outside-hotel-room-c-9492531 Mexican resort fatality: ‘Devoted’ US husband celebrating wedding anniversary found dead outside hotel room