Widow of U.S. lawyer found dead in Mexico on “strange” incident before his death
Almost a month after a Southern California public defender died in Mexico while celebrating his first wedding anniversary, his widow is speaking out about what happened, including a “strange” incident that unfolded hours before her husband’s death.
Kim Williams talked to CBS Los Angeles about what she claims happened on that fateful night and hoping to get answers to what happened to her spouse, 33-year-old Elliot Blair.
“I want everyone to remember him and to know how special he was,” she told the station. “But I also want answers as to what happened to him that night and why.”
Blair died Jan.14 in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, while vacationing with his wife. The two were celebrating their one-year anniversary when Blair allegedly fell from his second-story hotel balcony to his death. His wife and family have suspected foul play since the incident, which Mexican authorities have been calling an accident.
Williams said hotel security woke her up to give her the devastating news that her husband of 1 year had died.
“I was dead asleep,” said Williams.
Confused by the shocking news, Williams turned to look for her husband but couldn’t find him.
“I walked out of the room in pajamas, barefoot,” she said. “They pointed down to the ground and I just looked over and I ran. I ran down there.”
Mexican authorities gave Williams four different stories, including one that her 33-year-old husband had an “unfortunate accident” falling from a balcony down the hall from the couple’s room at Las Rocas Resort and Spa.
Blair had a blood-alcohol level of 0.10, which is two points higher than the legal limit for driving in California. Authorities suggested that his BAC may have been a factor in his death. Williams said he did not show signs of being drunk or even unsteady on his feet.
Attorney Case Barnett says the body was embalmed before the family could obtain their own results but claimed that the autopsy performed in Mexico, which contained photos, showed key findings which may be consistent with an aggravated homicide.
“We can see in those photographs a couple of things that tell us that Elliot Blair didn’t fall that night — that he was murdered,” said Barnett.
According to Barnett, in a second autopsy performed in Los Angeles, Blair sustained 40 fractures to his skull, a “road rash” on his knees, and a toe injury, which indicated he was dragged. Blair’s room was about 20 to 25 feet from the ground, and he was found on his right side with his face down, so it’s unlikely the injuries were sustained from a fall, Barnett said.
“He’s not going to have a toe injury and injuries to the back of his head as a result of a fall,” Barnett said. “It was just not a fall — it looks like he was beaten.”
Barnett believes that the autopsy contradicts statements from authorities claiming he died from the fall.
“It’s very clear that he was likely struck in the back of his head prior to any fall to the ground,” said expert Remi Hasish. “When he fell to the ground it seems that he was in an unconscious state because he wasn’t in a position to protect his body.”
The night Blair died he and his wife were pulled over by Rosarito police for rolling through a stop sign. Williams said officers asked for cash. Blair explained to the cops the pair were lawyers, staying at Las Rocas and wanted to go to the police station to use a credit card. Eventually, the couple relented and emptied their wallets of $160.
“I think it’s very strange that two hours before my husband is killed this happens to us,” said Williams. “I don’t think we can rule anything out but I also can’t sit here and tell you that’s what happened because, at the end of the day, I don’t know what happened to him.”
The family’s investigators have been trying to obtain hotel surveillance video and more law enforcement reports about what happened as they piece together what happened to the attorney, Barnett said.