Elliot Blair ‘hit and dragged’ before death: lawyer
Elliot Blair’s head was badly fractured and his body bruised as if he’d been beaten by more than one person before his death, a lawyer for his family told The Post.
The California lawyer’s cause of death remains a mystery after he was found face down outside his room at Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, on Jan. 14, leaving his grieving wife and family to piece together clues.
Preliminary results from a private second autopsy conducted in the US show Blair suffered more than 40 fractures on his head, mostly concentrated in the back of his skull and the left side of his face, attorney Case Barnett said.
Mexican authorities had initially declared that Blair accidentally fell from his second-floor hotel room onto the ground below, but Barnett said the injuries to his body tell a different story.
“It’s obvious to us and to the experts we have spoken to this is foul play,” Barnett told The Post. “It’s either he fell to his knees for some reason or he got hit and dragged. One of our experts told us that likely that more than one man did this if you look at the damage to Elliot’s head.”
Blair’s family also said when his body was found, the right side of his face was on the concrete ground, but the fractures were on the back of his head at the left side of his face.
An autopsy report conducted by a coroner in the state of Baja California, Mexico, also concluded that Blair’s case was an “aggravated homicide.”
Blair and wife Kim Williams — both attorneys at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office in California — were at the resort celebrating their first-year anniversary.
Williams told The Post after she and her husband left Splash Baja restaurant and bar at about 7 p.m., they were shaken down by two policemen in a squad truck.
One of the policemen said they were being stopped for not making a complete stop at an intersection and demanded cash, which they initially said they didn’t have.
“The officer asked us where we were staying and what we were doing in Rosarito,” Williams said. “Elliot told him we were on vacation. He asked us again for cash. At that point, Elliot pulled out his Orange County Public Defender’s badge.
“Elliot looked at him sternly and said, ‘Look, we’re attorneys, and we’re not going to play these games. We will do this the right way. Take us to the station, and I will pay with a card and you can give me a receipt.’”
The officer kept demanding cash, so the couple gave them what they had in their wallets, which was about $160.
“He turned back towards us and said, ‘OK, that’s fine,’ and we breathed a sigh of relief,” Williams added. “We thought, ‘Thank God they didn’t pull us out of the car,’ and they didn’t do anything more. That whole interaction took around 10 minutes.”
The pair went back to their hotel room and she fell asleep. About six hours later, hotel staff woke her up to inform her that her husband was dead, face-down on the resort walkway.
Dr. Rami Hashish, a biomechanics and injury expert hired by the family, told “Good Morning America” that Blair’s injuries don’t appear to be accidental.
“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 potentially being dragged on the 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.”
Barnett said a huge black mark across Blair’s left forearm could be a defensive mark from the 33-year-old blocking an attack.
The family hopes a second private autopsy will provide more clues as to how Blair died, but they have yet to receive any police report from Mexican authorities.
“We are struggling to understand who would do this,” Williams said in tears. “We are trying to see what the police have done because none of this makes sense.”