LOS ANGELES - The family of a Orange County public defender who died in Mexico is searching for answers after they say Mexican authorities are not properly communicating with them.
Elliot Blair and his wife Kim were in Rosarito, Mexico, celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary when Elliot was found dead on Jan. 14.
His family says he was the victim of a brutal crime, but law enforcement in Mexico says Blair’s death was a tragic accident.
A family spokesperson told FOX 11 that a detective on the scene told the wife that Elliot had been shot in the head. However, that is counterintuitive to what Mexican authorities said, which is that Elliot was drunk and fell off a balcony.
According to documents, the medical examiner's office conducted an autopsy and indicated that the cause of death was severe head trauma.
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"The report was released by the local prosecutor and saying that he had a high blood alcohol level and it was a tragic accident. Kim was with him that whole night. He wasn't drunk. It doesn't fit. The family wanted to vindicate him, saying he wasn't drunk. He didn't fall. Something's not right. So in order to get toxicology, you have to do it before the embalming. Elliot's mom was there in Tijuana to get the body, our investigators were on the way to get it. They were waiting outside of the funeral home to get the body," said Blair family spokesperson Case Barnett.
They also claim that Blair's wife "has been given multiple versions of what happened to Elliot."
"I don't know if we can say definitively, but what seems clear is there was something else. There was some additional factor, whether that means he was pushed, thrown, perhaps he was shot. In and that of itself is a huge red flag. To tell whether there's head trauma is from being shot, from falling down. You can simply look at the body and tell that right away. The fact that they haven't released the body, and they haven't been able to look at that prevents us from making any definitive statement on that," said Dr. Rami Hashish an expert witness on injuries.
He told FOX 11 that a healthy adult can usually survive from a 3-story fall and if Blair did fall he would have reacted to the fall and attempted to protect his head.
According to the family, the couple was staying at the Las Rocas Resort and Spa, a place they'd frequented over the years. Blair was also apparently fluent in Spanish and was very familiar with the layout of the resort.
The family said that he was found in his underwear, a t-shirt and socks in an open-air walkway outside the couple's room and that while the family found a local news article citing Mexican authorities calling Blair's death an "unfortunate accident," that was never communicated to the family.