The family of an Orange County public defender, skeptical of reports that he died in an accidental fall from a balcony in Rosarito, Mexico, are insisting against Mexican officials cremating his remains so they can conduct a complete and independent autopsy to try to find out how he died.
Family members said they have received limited information about the case, and were working with U.S. officials, but have not heard from Mexican police or prosecutors.
They said their only contact has been a liaison who had been in contact with the medical examiner’s office that performed an autopsy. They said that person told them Monday that Blair had died from severe head trauma, that the case had been forwarded to the district attorney’s office for a possible homicide investigation, and that a toxicology report had not been completed.
“The family of Elliot Blair is absolutely reeling from the tragic death of this amazing young man,” the family wrote. “The family, which has extensive legal training in criminal law, wholeheartedly believes based on their initial investigation, that Elliot was the victim of a brutal crime.”
Blair died Saturday at Las Rocas Resort and Spa, which is about 40 miles south of San Diego. Mexican authorities said he fell in an unfortunate accident off a balcony. The family says he died in an open-air walkway outside the front door of the couple’s room.
The family says that besides the coroner’s liaison, Mexican authorities have not given them any further information about Blair’s death.
“In addition, it is highly unfortunate that throughout this entire devastating ordeal, his loving wife, has been given multiple versions of what happened to Elliot,” the statement said.
The family said that the couple had stayed at Las Rocas on multiple occasions, sometimes in the same third-floor room, over the last five years. The family said he was not intoxicated at the time despite what early reports indicated.
Friends and colleagues are in mourning.
John Jenks, a private investigator who worked with Blair on drug cases said he was a dedicated attorney who had compassion for his clients. He said he had no information that led him to believe that the death was connected to his work.
He was shocked when he saw the news report about Blair’s death.
“My heart just breaks,” he said.
Blair and his wife were both public defenders.
“Elliot was a compassionate lawyer who dedicated his life to serving indigent clients,” the GoFundMe page said. “Elliot was known as a patient and caring advocate. He was the best of us and was loved by countless members of our office and the Orange County legal community. We are heartbroken.”
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