California public defender died in ‘brutal crime’ during Mexico anniversary trip, family says


A contact from the local coroner’s office said Elliott. Blair suffered severe head injuries. His family’s lawyer said.

California public defender died in 'brutal crime' during Mexico anniversary trip, family says (2)

The family of a California public defender who died. While celebrating her first wedding anniversary in Mexico. Believes she was the victim of a “brutal crime,” their lawyer said Tuesday.

Elliott Blair, 33, died Saturday outside his hotel room at Las Rocas Resort & Spa in Rosarito Beach. About 32 miles south of San Diego, lawyer David Scarsone said in a statement.

He said the incident took place on an open-air walkway on the third floor of the resort.

Blair’s family did not hear of his death directly from local authorities. Instead, it learned what happened from a “contact.” At the local coroner’s office, the lawyer’s statement said.

The contact, who was not identified in the statement, told the family. That Blair had died of blunt force trauma to the head. And that his case had been referred to prosecutors. For a possible homicide investigation. The statement said.

Neither Rosarito Beach Mayor Hilda Araceli Brown Figueredo nor. Las Rocas Resort responded to requests for comment Tuesday night.

Baja California’s attorney general did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. In a statement to The Orange County Register. The attorney general’s office said Blair’s death appeared to be. “The result of an unfortunate fall from. The third floor by the now-deceased person.”

Mexican authorities said in a statement that they were investigating. And were in contact with US officials who were notifying Blair’s family. The newspaper reported.

The US State Department did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday night. Blair was found in his underwear and socks and a sleeping T-shirt outside a room. Where he and his wife had been in the past, the lawyer’s statement said.

Blair’s family plans to conduct its own independent investigation. Hiring a private investigator and a forensic pathologist, Scarsone said.

“Elliott was a brilliant attorney with a bright future,” the statement said. “Elliot’s smile was radiant and warmed the hearts of everyone he came in contact with. Elliott had an innate ability to connect with people from all walks of life.”

Orange County Public Defender Martin Schwarz told The Register. That Blair has worked in the public defender office since 2017, the year he passed the bar exam. His wife, Kimberly, also worked in the public defender’s office. Schwarz told the newspaper.

She said Blair was a “devoted husband, wonderful person. And a wonderful lawyer who dedicated his life to serving. His clients and helping the county’s most vulnerable.”

Marlene Lenthang reports from New York City. And Tim Stelloh from Fort Bragg, California.

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