Family of OC public defender found dead continues to push for answers as body remains in Mexico

The family has also since hired their own investigators.

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Saturday, January 21, 2023 3:19AM
Family of OC public defender found dead continues to push for answers
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As of Thursday evening, Blair's body remains in Mexico. Officials said it'll be about another week before his remains return to the U.S.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As the investigation into the death of an Orange County deputy public defender continues, the family's attorney said they aren't making any accusations, but they are demanding answers.

Elliot Blair, 33, died early Saturday while in Mexico celebrating his first wedding anniversary. He had been with the Orange County Public Defender's Office since 2017.

His family has been raising questions about his death after an apparent fall from a hotel balcony. Resort staff reportedly found him on the sidewalk.

"[Blair's wife Kim] runs downstairs, she sees him face down on the ground, she yells to the hotel staff to please get me an ambulance and the hotel employees say, 'The ambulance was here. The ambulance already left, he is dead. The police are on the way,'" said Case Barnett, the Blair family spokesperson.

Detectives on the scene reportedly initially told Blair's wife there was a gunshot wound to his head, but the local prosecutor's office eventually ruled his death an accidental fall. Mexican authorities told ABC News their additional search for evidence revealed no signs of a dispute or struggle. They also said there was a substantial amount of alcohol in Blair's body.

"It doesn't make sense to Kim that they're saying his blood alcohol level was so high because he wasn't drunk," said Barnett.

Blair's family attempted to have an independent lab test his blood for their own toxicology report.

"Before they could do that, the DA ordered the body to be embalmed and it had been," said Barnett.

They have also since hired their own investigators.

"They're not accusing anybody of anything right now. They just want to find out what happened to Elliot that night," said Barnett. "You can't begin to heal without that closure."

As of Thursday evening, Blair's body remains in Mexico. Officials said it'll be about another week before his remains return to the U.S.

Baja California Attorney General Ricardo Ivan Carpio Sanchez said his office is cooperating with the Department of Justice and the FBI on the investigation.

A GoFundMe page has been created in memory of Blair.