February 24, 2024

A 12 months after the mysterious loss of life in Mexico of Orange County lawyer Elliot Blair, his widow’s seek for “justice” has taken a flip.

At first, Kimberly Williams Blair, 32, was decided to show Mexican authorities have been hiding one thing. She and her household employed non-public investigators and commissioned an impartial post-mortem, hoping to debunk the official report that Elliot died in a drunken fall from a hallway ledge at an upscale resort in Rosarito.

Kimberly believes he was murdered lower than two hours after police within the Baja California resort city shook the couple down for cash.

After her investigators hit a lifeless finish with uncooperative regulation enforcement and resort staff in Mexico, Kimberly now concedes she might by no means know who’s answerable for her husband’s loss of life and as an alternative is concentrated on maintaining his reminiscence alive.

“If I can get up tomorrow, a 12 months from now and have folks nonetheless coming as much as me saying what an exquisite particular person he was, that’s my ‘justice’ for Elliot,” Kimberly mentioned in an interview with the Southern California Information Group. “I don’t suppose we’ll ever get closure.”

She mentioned the one approach she will be able to survive her grief is to pivot and shelve the questions that stay.

RELATED: Demise of California lawyer in Baja raises troubling questions for Americans overseas

“I have to deal with his smile and the way he made an affect, in an effort to make it,” she mentioned. “For me, to have the ability to put one foot in entrance of the opposite, get by way of the day, I’ve to deal with the great recollections of him. … I could not ever be capable to know what occurred.”

What Kimberly does know, what she has discovered, is that U.S. businesses are severely restricted in what they’ll do to assist the households of Americans who’re victims of crime or die in overseas international locations, particularly Mexico.

“The shortage of sources, the shortage of assist and help, from that nation and our nation could be very arduous,” she mentioned. “They don’t make it simple.”

Simply retrieving Elliot’s physique and getting it again throughout the border into the US was an ordeal, lastly achieved with the assistance of Rep. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana.

Correa mentioned U.S. businesses should coordinate with Mexican authorities to higher assist Americans in misery there.

“We’d like to verify when the subsequent Elliot Blair scenario happens, we are able to instantly name of us south of the border and get solutions,” he mentioned.

Baja California’s Legal professional Normal’s Workplace, which has jurisdiction over the Blair investigation, declined to remark.

Demise was worldwide information

For weeks after his loss of life on Jan. 14, 2023, the Elliot Blair story commanded the media, right here and overseas, fueled by thriller and intrigue.

Elliot, 33, and his spouse, each Orange County deputy public defenders, had checked into Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito to rejoice their first marriage ceremony anniversary. They booked their favourite room, 308, dined on lobster, walked on the seashore, danced within the bar. Mexico was their “blissful place,” the place Elliot proposed to Kimberly, had his bachelor get together and the place they have been married.

After a festive Friday, Kimberly went to sleep whereas Elliot took a bathe. Shortly earlier than 1 a.m., Elliot’s physique — clad in a T-shirt, socks and underwear — was discovered beneath a third-story ledge down the corridor from their room. Kimberly mentioned she didn’t know something had occurred till after she was woke up by resort workers.

On the time, Kimberly mentioned she was informed by a badge-wearing detective that Elliot had been shot, however police later recanted after a Mexican post-mortem failed to show up any bullet wounds. The investigation was initially opened as an “aggravated murder.”

However inside days, prosecutors introduced Blair’s loss of life was an “unlucky accident.” With a blood alcohol stage of 0.10 — increased than the 0.08 restrict for driving in California — Elliot had merely stumbled off the ledge to his loss of life, maybe whereas attempting to shoo noisy pigeons, authorities mentioned.

Questions persevered

Blair’s household didn’t purchase it. There have been too many questions.

Why did police on the scene say he was shot? Why did they allegedly strain the household to shortly cremate the physique? Why did authorities have the physique embalmed earlier than the household might have an impartial blood alcohol check performed? Why was it so arduous to get Mexican authorities to launch the physique for the household to convey dwelling?

And did anybody examine whether or not the police shakedown had one thing to do with Elliot’s loss of life?

Rosarito officers had pulled over Elliott and Kimberly Blair’s truck for rolling by way of a cease signal and allegedly demanded cash to allow them to go. Kimberly, in a previous interview, mentioned Elliot confirmed officers his public defender’s badge and informed them in Spanish the place they have been staying and that he didn’t have the amount of cash they wished.

Elliot informed officers, “We’re attorneys. We’re not down right here being reckless. We’re not going to be taken benefit of,” Kimberly mentioned in a earlier interview. The Blairs ended up giving police the $160 that they had of their wallets.

The household was cautious to not accuse the police of being implicated in Blair’s loss of life, however wished it investigated like every other lead.

After which there was the matter of Elliot’s accidents, which the household mentioned have been inconsistent with a easy fall from three tales. For one factor, their impartial post-mortem confirmed 40 fractures to the again of his cranium, though he was discovered face down.

Whereas the household had earlier launched info from the impartial post-mortem, it didn’t launch the precise post-mortem report itself. It’s too painful to cope with, Kimberly mentioned. With out the report’s launch final 12 months, the information tales dried up. The household went silent.

‘Wanted to step again’

“Retaining ourselves within the media was not conducive to the therapeutic,” Kimberly defined. “In an effort to start the therapeutic course of, I wanted to step again.”

She added: “We don’t know if the case (in Mexico) is closed. Am I going to push it any additional? No. I have to deal with what I’m doing going ahead to make (Elliot) blissful and proud. … What can I do to make him look down and smile at me?”

Kimberly describes the final 12 months as a curler coaster of feelings. She nonetheless doesn’t sleep of their mattress, if she sleeps in any respect. It’s too lonely with out him. Additionally, their mattress is a reminder that she was quick asleep when Elliot died.

“I’m scared to be in a mattress. I’m scared to go to sleep. I’m scared to get up,” mentioned Kimberly, who sleeps on the sofa.

She cooks the identical factor for dinner each night time, a hen patty or hen sausage, a baked potato and broccoli — it’s simpler than having to consider what to make.

“Cooking for one particular person is gloomy, it feels pathetic. And sitting right here on my own, I simply don’t get pleasure from it,” Kimberly mentioned.

Retaining recollections alive