The widow of an Orange County public defender who died in Mexico while celebrating his one-year wedding anniversary was originally told by an officer that her husband had been shot, a family spokesperson told the Orange County Register.
Elliot Blair, 33, died early Saturday at Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito after local police said he was intoxicated and fell from a fourth-floor balcony, according to Patrulla 646, a news website in Mexico.
According to the attorney general’s office in Baja California, Blair suffered severe head trauma consistent with a fall.
Blair’s family, however, continues to question the official version of events and believes Blair was the victim of a “brutal crime.”
“The cop at the scene – the lead investigating officer, he’s in plain clothes wearing a badge around his neck, tells Kim (his widow) that there’s a bullet hole in Elliot’s head,” Case Barnett, a spokesperson for the family, told the Register on Thursday.
The family also says Blair’s body was embalmed in Mexico before the family had an opportunity to conduct an independent toxicology report.
“The importance of doing our own blood draw is they have the ability to determine with an independent analysis what the blood alcohol was,” Barnett said. “Right now, the Mexican authorities have control of everything.”
A GoFundMe campaign to support the family had raised $114,000 as of Friday.
“I did not know him to be a partier and I did not know his wife to be a partier,” Michael Bruggeman, a friend of the couple, told KTLA. “He was a good lawyer and a positive legal force in our community in Orange County, and he was kind of a rising star in the public defender’s office.”