An attorney representing the family of a California public defender who died while vacationing in Mexico says an autopsy shows the death was a murder and not an accident as Mexican authorities have alleged.
“The autopsy confirms that he, Elliot Blair, was murdered that night,” attorney Case Barnett told Good Morning America Thursday. Preliminary results from a private autopsy suggested the murder was possibly committed by multiple people, Barnett added.
Elliot Blair and his wife Kimberly Williams, both attorneys in the Orange County Public Defender’s Office in California, were celebrating their one-year anniversary in Rosarito, Mexico, last month when Blair was found dead on the ground outside the entrance to a three-story hotel.
Mexican authorities have given inconsistent explanations as to what happened, the family said, including that Blair was shot in the head.
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Investigators eventually concluded Blair’s death “was the result of an unfortunate accident due to the fall of the deceased from a third floor” and said he was possibly intoxicated trying to shoo away pigeons.
Williams, making her first public comments since the accident to GMA, dismissed the notion that her husband accidentally fell.
“I just know it’s not an accident,” Williams said. “I know he didn’t fall. I just know that.”
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Williams added she had never seen Blair intoxicated to the point of not being able to control herself in the nine years she had known him.
Williams said she fell asleep as Blair was taking a shower after a night on the town, including drinks in the hotel bar. She was awakened at 1:40 am by hotel employees asking her about Blair and pointing to her body three stories below.
“I turned to the side, I didn’t see him there, so I ran out the front door, and they’re pointing over the side of our front door area to the ground,” Williams said. “Well, that was my Elliot down there.”
Investigators believe Blair watched an Instagram video at 12:35 am, and then a 911 call came in at 12:55 am reporting a “person who apparently suffered a fall.” At 1:10 am, paramedics determined Blair had no vital signs.
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“I want to do everything we can to figure out what happened in that 45-minute, hour time span,” Williams said. “Because that’s what Elliot deserves. And that’s the hardest part for me, not knowing.”
Dr. Rami Hashish, a body performance and injury expert who has consulted Blair’s family on the case, told Fox News Digital last month there were “various inconsistencies in the preliminary reports” that led him to believe there’s “more than meets the eye.
“It’s highly unlikely for someone to lose balance when simply shooing pigeons away,” Hashish said. “But what’s even more unlikely is for someone to lose balance and then fall over the edge of a balcony.”
Hashish told GMA the injuries he observed on the body don’t suggest an accident.
“I think it’s relatively clear the injury pattern[s] just simply don’t add up with one another,” Hashish said. “There’s bruising marks on the body. There’s indications of potential being dragged in front of the body. There’s fractures to the back of the skull. Nothing really points to the fact that it was necessarily an accident.”
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The GMA interview comes on the heels of an Orange County Register report that said Blair and Williams were extorted by local police on their way back to the hotel on the night of the incident.
Williams confirmed to GMA that the couple was stopped by police for allegedly running a stop sign and that they were forced to turn over all of their cash, $160, which they said was an amount less than what was originally requested.
“We’ve never been pulled over before,” Williams said. “We were both rattled, but at the same time, we both had this feeling of, ‘Thank God they didn’t do anything more to us.'”
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Barnett confirmed to Fox News Digital that the autopsy showed multiple fractures to the skull and said full results from the autopsy would be available in five weeks.
The US State Department has issued travel warnings and guidelines for dozens of cities in Mexico due to concerns over crime and kidnappings, including popular tourist destinations such as Rosarito, Cancun and Acapulco.
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