Vigil held for Orange County public defender found dead in Mexico; family conducting independent investigation
The family of an Orange County public defender found dead in Mexico continues to search for answers and on Thursday evening, they gathered, along with friends and supporters for a vigil.
Elliot Blair, 33, died Jan. 14 at Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito after local police said he was intoxicated and fell from a third-floor balcony.
Blair and his wife, Kim Williams, were at the resort celebrating their one-year anniversary.
“I miss his face. I miss his comedy,” Blair’s mother, Mary Stella Blair, said. “I miss that we had this special connection. We just felt like kindred souls.”
The death of the 33-year-old attorney has impacted many in the community. Hundreds of people turned out to remember him at Thursday’s vigil.
“It’s a hole that doesn’t feel like it can ever be filled again. It’s a tremendous loss to our family, his family, the community,” Janet Williams, Blair’s mother-in-law, said.
Controversy has surrounded Blair’s death since the morning his body was discovered.
“Kim was told at the scene that he was the victim of a gunshot,” Case Barnett, a friend and the family’s attorney, said.
Mexican authorities then released a statement, calling his death an unfortunate accident, claiming he was drunk when he fell from the balcony. His family says that’s not the case.
“We have the evidence and we’ve talked to the witnesses,” Barnett said. “He wasn’t drunk. The fall wasn’t the cause of his death.”
They don’t believe he was shot either.
“It is inconsistent with a gunshot, but it is consistent with what we believe we would find,” Barnett told KTLA. “We don’t know the exact location of where the killing occurred. We believe the killing occurred somewhere else from where he was found.”
While the family is still working to get Blair’s remains back from Mexico, they’re not revealing all the details of their own investigation. They are expecting his body back on Monday, and plan to have their own autopsy and testing performed.
“At this point, we have a lot of information, a lot of questions answered,” Barnett said. “We can’t share all of that now.”
In the meantime, Blair is being remembered as a kind, caring person who always helped others and for his great sense of humor.
Blair’s wife, according to their attorney, was asleep at the time in the couple’s hotel room. She was reportedly awoken by hotel staff and told that her husband was dead. He added that they family hopes to have more information to reveal next week about what they believe is the true cause of Blair’s death.
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