Memorial service held for OC public defender who died in Mexico celebrating anniversary

A memorial service was held Saturday for Elliot Blair, the Orange County Deputy Public Defender, who died in Mexico while celebrating his first wedding anniversary in January. 

Elliot Blair was found dead at Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, on Jan. 14, where he and his wife Kim were celebrating their first wedding anniversary. Mexican authorities have maintained that the 33-year-old died after a fall from a balcony outside the couple's room, but an autopsy released Thursday showed Blair had 40 fractures to the back of his skull as well as "road rash" on his knees and a toe injury, which indicated he was dragged, Blair family attorney Case Barnett said.

Rosarito Beach is a coastal town about 20 miles south of Tijuana.

Over 500 people showed up for the memorial in Garden Grove Saturday, including family and friends, many from the OC Public Defender's Office. Congressman Lou Correa was also in attendance to present Blair's widow Kim with a congressional placard. 

The results of Blair's autopsy come shortly after a report that local police "shook him down" just over an hour before his death, according to Barnett.


According to the autopsy, Blair's blood-alcohol level was 0.10 when he died, which is two points higher than the legal limit for driving in California, but he did not show any signs of being drunk, according to his friends and wife, Barnett said. About 90 minutes before Blair was found dead, he and his wife were pulled over for allegedly rolling through a stop sign. That's when Barnett said the officer "shook him down." Blair gave the officer $160, according to Barnett, and then the officer asked him for more. The money was accepted and the couple drove off. Blair was found dead just hours later.

"We've never been pulled over before," Blair's wife Kim told Good Morning America on Thursday. "We were both rattled, but at the same time we both had this feeling of 'Thank God they didn't do anything more to us.'"

Blair's family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay expenses as the family continues its independent investigation into his death.

The family is also awaiting the results of an independent autopsy, which may not be released for several more weeks.