The family of an Orange County public defender who died in a fall from a resort balcony in Rosarito, Mexico, while celebrating his one-year wedding anniversary believes he was the victim of a brutal crime.
Elliot Blair, 33, died Jan. 14 when he fell from a balcony, a news website in Mexico reported. Media in Mexico reported that Blair fell from a balcony about 1 a.m. at Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito, which is about 40 miles south of San Diego.
Details were sketchy, but Blair’s family said on their GoFundMe page that they were working with U.S. officials to learn more.
“We wish we could provide everyone with more information, but very limited information has been disclosed by authorities in Mexico,” the page said.
A message sent to Annie Rodriguez, who organized the GoFundMe account, was not immediately returned.
David Scarsone, an attorney for Blair’s family, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. But he told the Orange County Register that he was skeptical of a report by Mexican authorities indicating Blair’s death was accidental.
Scarsone told the paper that he was going to conduct a separate investigation into how Blair died.
The legal community in Orange County was in mourning. 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.”
The family said it was raising funds to help transport Blair’s body from Mexico to the U.S.
“All donated funds will be used by Kim and Elliot’s family in their search for answers and to help Kim with any personal finances as she grieves her Elliot,” the GoFundMe page said.
John Jenks, a private investigator who worked with Blair, told NBC Los Angeles he was devastated by the news.
“It was like a gut punch today when I learned of his death,” Jenks told the station. “He knew the law, he was well prepared, his courtroom presentation was outstanding, down to earth, relatable, and he knew the cases inside and out.”
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