OC Public Defender death in Rosarito – homicide or accident?
OC Public Defender death in Rosarito – homicide or accident?Posted by BajaBundo on January 20, 2023 at 3:47 pm
This case is really weird and I am having a hard time making any sense of it. What strikes me is that the wife took several days to speak out.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-01-19/orange-county-public-defender-died-in-mexico-heres-what-we-knowLowCal replied 1 month, 1 week ago 15 Members · 24 Replies
CruiserMemberJanuary 20, 2023 at 7:46 pm
I don’t know who to believe at this point and going to wait until more info comes out but I agree, something doesn’t fit with her behavior.
MotoMemberJanuary 21, 2023 at 8:28 pm
it’s strange, the wife says she was asleep and didn’t hear anything? So her husband didn’t wander out in the middle of the night in his underwear? What scenario is she proposing to have happened? That someone broke into their room without waking her and dragged hubbie out and tossed him off the balcony? Her story stinks.
BajaGringoOrganizerJanuary 22, 2023 at 8:25 am
It is a strange case and there appears to be much being left out from the wife’s story. Could be she is simply grieving so I am willing to give her some time and see how this story goes in the days ahead. The facts reported by her up until now make little sense.
As far as the homicide investigation by the Rosarito police, they simply haven’t provided a lot of info other than their accident conclusion.
Just have to wait and see but I do feel sorry for the young man and his family, meeting his death while celebrating his first wedding anniversary. Tragic.
mikelMemberJanuary 22, 2023 at 9:29 am
This is the most complete info I have seen so far:
The couple had stayed at the resort at least five times before and always asked for Room 308. Blair, a fluent Spanish speaker, knew some of the entertainers and staff at the hotel and other hot spots on Rosarito Beach.
The couple started their first-anniversary celebration by taking selfies at the pool area of the popular beach-side resort as the sun began to set in the background at about 4:50 p.m. on Jan. 13.
The happy couple drove a few miles to have dinner at Villa Ortega’s where Blair splurged on the lobster special and had one drink, Barnett said.
Once they finished their meal, Blair and Williams decided to go dancing around 7 p.m. at Splash Baja, a restaurant bar with a live band. Other patrons quickly spotted the happy couple as they laughed and danced to 70s music.
They struck up a conversation with another couple and revealed they were in town to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
“They seemed like very nice people just having a good time,” said a bar patron, who wanted to remain anonymous. “They asked how long we have been married and later on exchanged numbers hoping maybe we will see each other again at some point. This is a real shame because they were just very nice people.”
After a few hours relaxing at Splash Baja, Blair and his wife got in their car at about 10:30 p.m. and headed to a pizzeria near the resort. The 33-year-old knew the owner of the establishment and had a conversation with some of the workers.
At about 11 p.m., the couple made their way to the bar at Las Rocas, where their favorite karaoke singer was belting Freddy Mercury and Queen songs.
During the 45 minutes they were at the karaoke bar, Blair had one margarita, the family attorney said. After a long day of fun activities, the couple decided to retire to their second-floor room.
Barnett said Williams quickly fell asleep while her husband decided to take a shower.
Just before 1:40 a.m. the next day, Williams was awakened by two voices outside their hotel door, which was slightly ajar.
“They said, ‘Ma’am, ma’am! Is that your boyfriend,’” Barnett said. “Kim got up from the bed and raced down the stairs and saw Elliot. He was wearing socks, boxer briefs and a white or gray T-shirt. No one touched the body, tried to do CPR or check Elliot’s vitals. He was facedown on the asphalt, his arms sort of behind him.”
Williams was in shock but yelled at the staff to send for help. She said she didn’t recall seeing a pool of blood, a gash on his face or a bullet wound. The attorney also said she never heard any gunshots.
Barnett said they are still unsure if Blair fell from the second floor or if he walked down to the ground floor. But why would he do so in just his underwear and socks, the family wondered.
Once Mexican authorities showed up at about 1:45 a.m., Barnett said they initially told Williams they saw an injury to Blair’s head, but later added he had a bullet wound.
Williams then called the older couple they had befriended at the Splash bar.
“She was calling, absolutely frantic and my wife tried to calm her down because we really didn’t understand what was happening … it was about 2 a.m.,” the man said. “We thought, based on what she was saying, that Elliot had fallen off the balcony. But she didn’t elaborate.”
Williams tried to communicate with authorities at the hotel with the help of a family friend who translated, but she was dismayed that the police didn’t immediately knock on doors or take statements from other hotel occupants. She was reportedly told that she should immediately have her husband’s remains cremated.
Hours later, a shattered Williams returned to the resort and received her wallet and other belongings. Authorities said she was free to return to the US.
Earlier this week, a liaison with the coroner’s office referred the case to the prosecutor’s office as a possible homicide, but Mexican officials released a statement shortly after and said what happened to Blair was a “tragic accident” and the 33-year old had a high blood alcohol level.
“I don’t know how they got that information because no one has spoken to the family,” Barnett said. He pointed out that toxicology reports often take weeks and months to complete.
As of Friday night, Stella Blair still has not seen her only son’s remains. She drove to Rosarito with her daughter but they were told that because of “red tape,” his body would not be released for another one to four weeks.
Barnett said California lawmakers and people in the Orange County legal community have stepped up to help. A GoFundMe page to help raise money to assist the family with their own investigation has raised over $114,000 as of Friday.
Ashley Aitken, the Mayor of the City of Anaheim, Calif., also reached out to Sen. Alex Padilla’s office and other officials who might be able to assist the Blair and Williams families to navigate Mexican laws, Barnett said.
“All the family wants to know is the truth and to get Elliot’s body back home,” the attorney said. “They want closure and closure could only come with finding out what happened that night. The family is just doing everything within their power to find that out. It gets increasingly frustrating and brings up all sorts of different emotions. What happened to Elliot just doesn’t make any sense.”
offroadrageMemberJanuary 22, 2023 at 12:19 pm
Whenever a murder investigation starts, they always look at the spouse first. And in this case his wife needs to come up with a better story / timeline of what happened after they got back to their hotel room.
CruiserMemberJanuary 22, 2023 at 10:29 pm
Hate to say this but it makes you wonder if just maybe they are milking the homicide angle for the Gofundme acount?
RogerWMemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 2:41 am
Initially it was reported with information obtained from the police that the victim was intoxicated and fell from the balcony attached to his room. According to his wife with corroboration from other witnesses at the restaurant and two bars they visited he only had two drinks that night. Also it’s my understanding that forensic toxicology testing from someone that has died would take 4 to 6 weeks for test results. So why was it reported that the fall was related to the victim being intoxicated when it was not possible to determine this without the toxicology results?
LowCalMemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 5:49 am
I agree that there is a lot here that stinks on the side of the Rosarito police’s handling of this too. As far as toxicology results, I think that is normal turnaround time for a busy crime lab. My sister works in a forensic lab in Virginia and they have gotten blood alcohol content pretty quick in high profile cases. I think the 4 to 6 week figure is because they normally have work backed up, not that the analysis takes that long but I’ll give her a call today and ask her.
LowCalMemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 6:00 pm
@RogerW – I spoke with my sister this afternoon and yes, she said a complete toxicology report can take anywhere from a few weeks to several weeks, based on the complexity of what they are asked to look for, the time passed since the victim died, the work load of the lab and the case priority attached to the analysis.
She also said however that a blood alcohol analysis is quite simple and fast with the analysis itself taking only a couple of minutes to complete and they frequently release blood alcohol data ahead of the complete toxicology report to aid an investigation.
BajaGringoOrganizerJanuary 24, 2023 at 9:02 am
Yes, they do that analysis using a procedure call GC-Headspace analysis and it is very fast as well as extremely accurate. Including prep time, the actual analysis, QC review and final report, the results could potentially be released the same day if requested as a priority.
LowCalMemberJanuary 24, 2023 at 5:09 pm
She said that is the instrument they use for the test. You have experience testing for blood alcohol?
BajaGringoOrganizerJanuary 25, 2023 at 7:10 am
I managed industrial testing labs in California and we used the very same equipment for analyzing liquid/solid samples for a wide array of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.
McBajaMemberJanuary 24, 2023 at 7:05 am
Or maybe he really did just slip and fall?
LowCalMemberJanuary 24, 2023 at 5:11 pm
Could be. Wish that hotel had cameras.
mx-riderMemberJanuary 26, 2023 at 4:32 pm
It’s easy to think that the Rosarito police are lying (because they often do) but I have really not seen any serious evidence put forth by his wife or family to seriously refute the timeline and conclusions of the homicide investigators. There are no witnesses who saw or heard a struggle, no signs of forced entry to their room, the wife claims to have slept through the entire thing and a nearly completely wide open void leading to the ground 3 stories below at the end of the outside passageway. Don’t get me wrong, I think it does stink that the Rosarito polce wanted to cremate the body (if that’s true) and really not sure about the embalming. Anybody know if that’s standard practice for morgues when holding onto a body in Mexico?
The wife could easily sway me if she would come out with more information about what happened as well as provide any other corroborating facts to support her allegations.
This may be just a simple and quite unfortunate accident and the wife could still have a civil case against the hotel for there not being any guard railing.
blitzerMemberJanuary 26, 2023 at 6:12 pm
At first I was thinking this sounded like a coverup by the Rosarito police but now following this story for the last week including all of the wacko comments on the GoFundMe page the family started, I am thinking this is looking more and more like they are just trying to milk this poor guys death for all the money they can get. Sorry of that offends anybody but that is how it looks to me at this point. @mx-rider is right, something is not adding up with the wife’s story and allegations.
DuckDiveMemberJanuary 30, 2023 at 7:12 am
It’s weird that we haven’t heard anything more on this? Might be a good idea for the family to offer all that gofundme money as a reward for more information in Rosarito. If he was really killed, that could motivate someone who knows something about it to come forward.
RogerWMemberFebruary 1, 2023 at 2:21 am
It appears there will be an independent autopsy of Mr. Blair’s body on Wednesday in LA performed at the request of his family now that his body has been returned from Mexican officials. This does not sound like the type of thing his family would do if as some have suggested here they were only interested in the money raised on gofundme.
VolcanMemberFebruary 2, 2023 at 6:07 pm
You may very well be right @RogerW but the problem is that family immediately started calling this a homicide with nothing to backup their claim.
I agree with you there are some questions about aspects of this case and the family has every right and should follow through to get answers to those questions. But to just start claiming he was murdered when the wife nor any witnesses in the nearby rooms or hotel staff reported hearing or seeing anything out of the ordinary makes no sense.
No gunshots reported, no yelling or sounds of fighting / scuffle reported and the unaccounted for wound to his head could have come from hitting his head after a slip or stumble near the edge of the balcony which could have caused him to fall. Maybe he was startled by pigeons up there as some reports allege?
It really makes zero sense for him to be outside of his room at that hour and yet the wife reports that she never heard him leave the room and there were no signs of forced entry. The bottom line is there is an awful lot we DON’T know in this case and the wife is offering zero evidence or testimony to support her claims of homicide.
This is Mexico and the police investigations are often sloppy and filled with mistakes. It happens in 3rd world countries but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s a homicide coverup.
I’ll wait to hear the results of the toxicology report and compare the 2 coroners reports.
LowCalMemberFebruary 3, 2023 at 1:57 pm
That’s a pretty fair analysis based on what information has been released so far. There are lots of questions still but nothing that directly points to a homicide. Yet.
amandaeMemberFebruary 3, 2023 at 8:02 am
I have followed this case and admit to having mixed feelings as something seems wrong on both sides. The Rosarito police seemed to have made some early mistakes where one of them told his wife he had been shot, when in fact he had not. But the wife’s story doesn’t seem to make much sense either. She says they weren’t drunk yet she passes out and wasn’t even aware that her husband had gone outside and had to be awoken by hotel staff to inform her that her husband was no longer in the room and was laying dead on the ground below?
Anytime my husband leaves our hotel room and I’m still in bed, I know. It just doesn’t make sense.
bajajeepersMemberFebruary 8, 2023 at 6:12 pm
Looks like the family is now alleging that a traffic stop shakedown was somehow connected to his death. Corrupt cops making dubious traffic stops for cash is nothing new down in Mexico but this is the first time I have heard cops following their mark to kill him at his hotel because they only got 160 dollars?
Now that’s a real stretch.
RogerWMemberFebruary 9, 2023 at 7:32 pm
Kim Williams the wife of Elliot Blair was on GMA this morning:
New article in the LA Times:
LowCalMemberFebruary 10, 2023 at 11:39 am
More allegations but fail to see anything specifically that points a finger to any direct, criminal involvement in his death? And the widow still has a lot of questions that she has not answered yet.