Mystery Surrounds California Lawyer’s Death While On Vacation In Mexico: Reports

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Gretchen Clayson Contributor
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A California lawyer died in Mexico while on a one-year anniversary trip with his wife, though circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear, according to reports.

Orange County (OC) public defender Elliot Blair, 33, died Saturday after a fall from a fourth-story balcony at a resort in Rosarito Beach, the Orange County Register reported. While Mexican media described Blair’s alleged fall as accidental, Blair’s family has indicated on a GoFundMe page that something more sinister may have occurred.

Alleging Blair was “tragically killed,” the post argued Mexican authorities shared “very limited information” with the family. “He was the victim of a brutal crime. His family is working with US Officials to gain more information,” according to the GoFundMe page.

Mexican authorities were called to the resort shortly after 1 a.m., when hotel staff found Blair’s body, the OC Register reported, citing a Mexican news outlet. Police claimed to have found evidence Blair was intoxicated when he died, but the details of how the officers came to that conclusion were not clear, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Resort Vacation Death Initially Attributed To Alcohol Poisoning Now Being Investigated As A Homicide)

Public defender Martin Schwarz called Blair a “devoted husband, terrific person and a fantastic lawyer who dedicated his life to serving his clients and helping the county’s most vulnerable,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“He impacted countless lives and his loss will be felt deeply by all who knew him. We have been in communication with the family and are doing what we can to support them in this difficult time, including working with local and federal officials to help provide them with answers,” Schwarz continued, the outlet reported.

Blair’s wife Kim, also a public defender, said she was “shattered” by the loss, according to the GoFundMe post, which was created to “help Kim with the cumbersome process involved in transporting Elliot’s body from Mexico to the USA and dealing with all the red tape.”

“This is an unspeakable tragedy. Our hearts go out to Elliot’s family and all those who knew him and loved him in the Orange County Public Defender’s Office,” the Orange County Public Defender’s officer told FOX 11.