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Exclusive: Wife of public defender who died at Mexico resort speaks out

Blair family

(NEW YORK) — The wife of a California public defender who died in Mexico last month is revealing new details deepening the mystery surrounding her husband’s death at a resort in Baja California.


“He was my rock in this world,” Kimberly Williams told ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman in an exclusive interview airing on Good Morning America Thursday. “We bought our dream home, planned to have children together.”

“Without him, I feel like I have nothing,” she said of her husband, Elliot Blair, 33.

Williams and her husband, both public defenders at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, were celebrating their first wedding anniversary at Las Rocas Resort and Spa — located on the shores of Rosarito Beach, just south of Tijuana, along the western coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula — when Blair appeared to have fallen off a balcony to his death at the resort on Jan. 14.

She had been sleeping during the incident, she said, and recalled a security guard and the hotel manager in her room, saying, “Excuse me, miss, excuse me, excuse me, is this your boyfriend down here?”

“I turned to the side, I didn’t see him there, so I ran out the front door and they’re pointing over the side of our front door area to the ground. Well, that was my Elliot down there,” she said.

An autopsy established that Blair’s death “was the result of an unfortunate accident due to the fall of the deceased from a third floor,” the State Attorney General’s Office of Baja California said in a statement.

Local authorities said there were no signs of struggle in the couple’s hotel room. A toxicology report found that there was a “considerable” amount of alcohol in Blair’s body, the State Attorney General’s Office of Baja California said. His cause of death was listed as severe head trauma in a forensic medical necropsy certificate.

However, Williams and her attorney maintain that the extent of Blair’s injuries appears to indicate he was attacked.

“It’s the physical evidence we’ve been able to obtain, the autopsy,” Case Barnett, the family’s attorney, told Good Morning America. “The autopsy confirms that he, Elliot Blair, was murdered that night.”

Barnett said it appears to him based on the evidence that Blair may be been beaten by more than one man, though why remains unclear.

Williams also said Blair was not so drunk he’d fall over a balcony, saying he likely drank five or six drinks over six hours that night.

Dr. Rami Hashish, a biomechanics, body performance and injury expert who is consulting with the family on the case, said he doesn’t “really think that there’s much evidence [to] point to the fact that it was an accident.”

“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 potential 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.”

Blair’s body was embalmed before they could have their own toxicology report performed, the family’s attorney said. Though Williams said that Blair likely drank five or six drinks over six hours that night and was not drunk.

“In my nine years of being with him and knowing him, I can tell you, I’ve never seen him sloppy. I’ve never seen him not be able to stand. I’ve not seen him not be able to walk and care for himself,” she said.

The couple spent the night dining at a local restaurant. On the way back to the resort, the couple was pulled over by local police who claimed they had rolled through a stop sign and demanded they pay them cash, Williams said.

“We’ve never been pulled over before,” Williams said. “We were both rattled, but at the same time we both had this feeling of thank God they didn’t do anything more to us.”

Back at the resort, they danced at the lobby bar before going to bed around midnight, Williams said. The next thing she remembers is the security guard and hotel manager in their room waking her up and telling her that Blair was on the ground.

According to 911 calls from that night obtained by ABC News, at 12:50 a.m., the resort called to report “a person who apparently suffered a fall.” About 20 minutes later, paramedics arrived on the scene saying Blair had no vital signs.

Williams said authorities went through several scenarios with her of what could have happened to her husband, including suicide and accident — “everything under the sun except for what I think happened: Someone did this to him,” she said.

“I just know it’s not an accident. I know he didn’t fall. I just know that,” she said. “I want to do everything we can to figure out what happened in that 45-minute, hour time span. Because that’s what Elliot deserves. And that’s the hardest part for me, is not knowing.”

Williams said police also asked her that night if the two of them had been fighting, which she also denied.

“We’re here on our anniversary. What are you talking about?” she recalled telling them. “No, we’re not fighting.”

Barnett said they have hired private investigators in Mexico to gather information, but they have “hit a wall with the investigation.”

“Kim’s family need answers to bring closure to this so they can really start moving on from it,” Barnett said.

Williams said she is speaking out now in honor of her husband’s memory, whom she described as a compassionate and empathetic lawyer.

“I don’t want him to be forgotten. I want the world to know who my Elliot is,” she said. “I want people to know he’s not some drunk that stumbled off the front ledge of our hotel room.”

“I want the world to remember the person he was — his smile, his heart,” she continued. “That’s one of the only things keeping me going right now — is the idea of doing this for him, for honoring his name.”

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