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Lawyer who died in Mexico had 40 skull fractures, pathologist says. ‘Someone did this to him’

The Orange County attorney who died last month while vacationing in a popular tourist area of ​​Mexico suffered dozens of skull fractures, according to the family’s attorney.

Case Barnett, the attorney for Elliot Blair’s family — whose mysterious death in January at a Rosarito resort has sparked questions from his loved ones — said an independent Los Angeles pathologist hired by the family to perform an autopsy found that Blair had about 40 fractures in the back of his skull.

The pathologist has not ruled on the cause of death and it could be five or six weeks before the report is published, Barnett said.

Blair and his wife, Kimberly Williams, had gone to Mexico’s Las Rocas Resort and Spa to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

But Blair, who at 33 years old made his way as a dedicated advocate for needy clients, did not return home alive. He was found dead in the hotel several floors below the couple’s room on January 14 in his underwear, a sleeping T-shirt and socks. Mexican authorities have said his death was the result of an accidental fall, but Blair’s family insist it was a “cruel crime”.

In her first public interview on Thursday with ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” Williams, who is also an Orange County public defender, shared new details about the night her husband died, eventually saying that “someone did this to him.”

Williams said she and Blair were driving back to the resort from a local restaurant on the night of Jan. 13 when they were stopped by police, who claimed the pair had driven through a stop sign. The officers asked for money, she said. Blair, who spoke fluent Spanish, explained that they did not have the amount of money the police wanted. Another officer asked where the pair were staying, and Blair told authorities they were staying in Las Rocas and on vacation, Williams said. He also explained that the couple were both lawyers and showed the police his work badge. In the end, they paid the officers $160 — whatever money they had — and were released, she said.

“We were both upset,” said Williams, “but at the same time, we both felt like thank God they hadn’t done anything to us anymore.”

Back at the resort, the couple went to the lobby bar, where they danced before going to their rooms. Williams got into bed and Blair took a shower, she said, adding that she eventually fell asleep.

Williams said she was awakened by a security guard and the hotel manager, who were in her room and asked her if it was her “boyfriend down here.” She ran to the hotel door and saw them pointing at the ground in an area below the resort walkways just outside their door, she said. The couple stayed in a room on the third floor, which was 6 to 7.5 meters above the ground, the family’s lawyer said.

“That was my Elliot down there,” Williams said with tears in his eyes. “I kept yelling at them to call an ambulance. They said an ambulance came an hour ago.

Barnett said Blair was on Instagram at 12:35 a.m. ABC News reported that it obtained 911 phone records showing the resort called at 12:50 a.m. to report a person who had apparently fallen. Paramedics arrived at the scene 20 minutes later and concluded that Blair had no vital signs, ABC reported.

In an earlier interview, Barnett told The Times that a plainclothes detective wearing a badge told Williams at the scene that Blair had a gunshot wound to the head. Williams told ABC News on Thursday that authorities also used “accident” and “suicide” to explain Blair’s death.

“It was a rollercoaster,” Williams said of the police statement. “I mean, everything under the sun, except what I think happened: someone did this to him.”

Mexican authorities attributed Blair’s death to an accidental fall from the hotel’s walkway. Baja California Atty. General Ricardo Iván Carpio Sánchez called Blair’s death a “terrible case” and said an autopsy performed by the state’s forensic medical service ruled that Blair died of a traumatic brain injury. The report indicated no visible injuries consistent with a firearm or edged weapon, Carpio said. The prosecutor’s office also said that a toxicology report showed that Blair had a “significant” amount of alcohol in his blood.

But on Thursday, Barnett said an autopsy report, prepared in Mexico and dated Jan. 14, characterized Blair’s death as an “aggravated homicide.”

The family hired Dr. Rami Hashish, a biomechanical expert, asked to review the images in the report, which showed bruises on Blair’s arms and legs, “road rash” on Blair’s knees and an injury to his left toe, Barnett said.

Hashish told ABC that the evidence that Blair died as a result of an accident seemed thin.

“There are bruises on the body. There is evidence of (possibly) dragging on the front of the body. There are fractures at the back of the skull,” Hashish said. “Nothing really indicates it was an accident per se.”

Barnett provided copies of the autopsy report in both Spanish and English, translated by the American Translators Assn., as well as Spanish and English copies of the toxicology report, which showed that Blair had a blood alcohol level of .10, 2 points above the legal California standard. driving limit. (Williams told ABC that Blair had had five or six drinks, with his last drink around 11:30 p.m., and that she had never seen Blair get so intoxicated that he couldn’t “take care of himself”.)

A spokesman for the Baja California Attorney General’s Office could not confirm the authenticity of the English-language autopsy report, other than to say that he “understands it is a translation of the original.” He did not respond to requests to verify the copy of the Spanish-language report, which is marked “confidential” on all pages.

The spokesman said the autopsy, conducted by Mexican officials, did not determine the death was an aggravated homicide, but again pointed to “expert opinions that the death was accidental.”

The investigation remains open and the attorney general’s office is investigating the death as an accident because it has “no factors to determine otherwise,” the spokesman said.

Since the case came to light, Blair’s family has maintained that he was the “victim of a brutal crime” and hired a private investigator to investigate. The family hopes to show the world who Blair really was, they said: a promising, savvy attorney called into public service, surrounded by a loving family with plans to one day start his own family.

“He was my rock, my everything,” said Williams.