his family says it was “a brutal crime”

(CNN) — An American lawyer who died this weekend while celebrating his first wedding anniversary in Mexico “was the victim of a brutal crime,” his family said, noting that a coroner’s official told them the case had been sent to a local prosecutor. to conduct a possible homicide investigation.”

Elliot Blair, 33, a deputy public defender in Orange County, California, died of “severe head trauma,” the official said, citing an autopsy, according to a family statement provided by his attorney, David Scarsone.

Blair was found dead on Saturday at the Las Rocas resort in Playas de Rosarito, more than 70 kilometers south of San Diego, where he was staying with his wife Kim.

The Baja California State Attorney General’s Office said the death appeared to be the “result of an unfortunate accident due to the fall of the now-deceased man from a third floor,” according to his statement to the newspaper Orange County Register.

The prosecution did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. Rosarito Beach Police did not immediately return calls from CNN.

For their part, Blair’s family had no contact with Mexican security forces about his death, they said.

“The family, who have extensive legal training in criminal law, wholeheartedly believe, based on their initial investigation, that Elliot was the victim of a brutal crime,” their statement read.

Blair was on vacation when she died, loved ones said.  (Mapbox)

Blair was on vacation when she died, loved ones said. (Mapbox)

The lawyer was not under the influence of toxic substances, says the family

Although Blair’s relatives did not provide any specific evidence of a crime, they deny that her death occurred from the balcony of the room where the couple was staying at the resort, according to the statement. In this sense, the family affirms that the death occurred outside the main door of the room, in an open-air corridor.

“Elliot was not under the influence of intoxicants at the time of this incident,” the family said. He added that they told the coroner’s official that they would hire a private company to conduct an independent investigation, including toxicology. The official had told them that a toxicology report had not been completed, they said.

The family opposes the cremation of Blair’s body, they said, noting that in conversations with a funeral home they have been told several times that authorities have recommended that process.

A colleague organized a fundraiser in honor of Blair’s memory to help his wife with the “cumbersome process involved in transporting Elliot’s body from Mexico to the United States and dealing with all the red tape,” the page read. donations created by Annie Rodriguez, who was contacted by CNN.

“We wish we could provide everyone with more information, but very little has been revealed by Mexican authorities,” it read.

Elliot and Kim have worked at the Orange County public defender’s office since 2017, the page says.

“Elliot was known for his smile and clever mind,” the site reads. “There are not enough words to express the level of love I felt for Kim. Kim was the life of her. They began to build a life together in their first year of marriage.”

Orange County Public Defender Martin Schwarz referred Scarsone to CNN.

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