SoCal public defender dies while on vacation in Mexico; family believes he was killed

ByChristiane Cordero KABC logo
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
OC public defender found dead in Mexico; family believes he was killed
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An investigation is underway after the death of an Orange County public defender who was visiting a hotel resort in Mexico to celebrate his first wedding anniversary, according to local law enforcement officials.

ROSARITO, Mexico -- An investigation is underway after the death of an Orange County, Calif. public defender who was visiting a hotel resort in Mexico to celebrate his first wedding anniversary, according to local law enforcement officials.

Elliot Blair visited Las Rocas Resort and Spa with his wife, Kim Williams, in the Baja California coastal city of Rosarito. He was found dead on the day before their wedding anniversary, on Jan. 14, hours after he and his wife had gone out to dinner and dancing.

While officials initially believed the American died from a four-story fall at the resort, there was a specific injury on Blair's forehead "that would not have been caused by a fall," one official said.

The Williams family said they have hired an investigator as they grieve.

"We have reasons to believe, and evidence, that there was possible foul play" but don't want to compromise the investigation, the family told ABC7.

A spokesperson from the Orange County public defender's office, Martin Schwarz, told ABC7 that Blair was a "devoted husband, terrific person and a fantastic lawyer who dedicated his life to serving his clients and helping the county's most vulnerable."

"He impacted countless lives and his loss will be felt deeply by all who knew him," Schwarz added. "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."

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