The family of an Orange County public defender who died while celebrating his one-year wedding anniversary in Mexico is calling his death a “brutal crime” on Tuesday.
Blair’s family released a statement saying his death was not an accident.
“The family, who have extensive legal training in criminal law, believe wholeheartedly based on their initial investigation that Elliott was the victim of a brutal crime,” said David Scarzone, the family’s attorney.
In the statement, the family says they are waiting for updates from Mexican authorities, but “neither the Rosarito Beach Police Department, their district attorney’s office, nor any other Mexican authorities have reached out and spoken to them directly.”
The statement said the only information available to the family was by contacting the coroner’s office on Monday.
The contact stated that Blair’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and that the case has been forwarded to the district attorney’s office for a possible homicide investigation. The family said a toxicology report had not been completed at the time.
Blair’s family told authorities they would conduct their own investigation through a private firm and retain their own forensic pathologist to conduct a medical examination and toxicology report.
“Throughout this entire process, it was recommended by the Mexican authorities that Elliot’s body be cremated,” Scarson said. “During a conversation with the funeral home relative, it was again recommended that he be cremated, and the family insisted that his body not be cremated to allow for a full, thorough, and independent investigation.”
The family said that within hours of that conversation, Mexican authorities found a news article citing the case as an “unfortunate accident,” although the authorities did not inform or confirm that detail.
Blair’s wife, Kim, says she was given “multiple versions of what happened to Elliott” throughout the trial.
The family says Kim and Elliott have stayed at the Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito several times over the past five years, and Elliott is “very familiar” with the resort’s setting.
Kim said the incident “didn’t happen on their room’s private balcony, or any balcony at all,” but instead took place on the open walkway outside their room’s front door.
Elliott was not drunk when he died and was wearing only underwear, a nightgown and socks, the family said.
“Because of the lack of an investigation, the family is forced to conduct their own private investigation to find the truth,” Scarson said.
Blair, who lived in Orange, had worked for the public defender’s office since 2017.
Orange County Register, It was the first to report Blair’s deathA colleague of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office received a statement from Martin Schwarz, who said he was working with U.S. authorities to obtain more information.
“We have been in contact with the family and are doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time, including working with local and federal authorities to help provide them with answers,” Schwarz told the OC Register.
“Elliott is an outstanding attorney with a bright future,” his family said. “Elliott had an innate ability to connect with people from all walks of life. Elliott was a loving husband, son and brother. Elliott’s tragic, untimely and suspicious death has left a huge hole in the hearts of his family and community that will never be mended.
A GoFundMe campaign Created to support Blair’s widow, Kim, it involves repatriating Blair’s body to the United States and “dealing with all the red tape,” says organizer Annie Rodriguez.
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