Rosarito police shook down OC lawyer Elliot Blair shortly before his death, source says

Rosarito police extorted money from Orange County lawyer Elliot Blair and his wife less than two hours before his mysterious death at a Mexican beach resort, but the couple did not have the amount initially demanded by the officer, a source close to the family said Wednesday, Feb. 8.

According to the source, Blair was stopped by two police officers about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before his death for rolling through a stop sign while driving back from Splash restaurant to their hotel. The couple did not have the unidentified sum demanded by police, but gave $160 and were let go. They also were asked where they were staying.

The source said the family wants the shakedown investigated — and potentially excluded — as an explanation for Blair’s fall Jan. 14 from a third-story at the Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito Beach. Blair was found about 12:50 a.m., dressed in underwear, socks and a T-shirt beneath the open-air walkway.

Mexican authorities have concluded Blair had alcohol in his system and his death was an “unfortunate accident,” a simple fall. Blair’s wife, Kimberly Williams, and family insist the 33-year-old deputy public defender from Orange was the victim of a “brutal crime.” Williams is not considered a suspect.

Mexican authorities reported that an autopsy found no signs of violence, no gunshot or knife wounds. But a private autopsy for the family has been performed and the results are pending. The family also has retained a private investigator to probe the death.

Blair and Williams, also a deputy pubic defender, were at the beach resort to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Fueling the family’s suspicions of foul play are various actions and statements by Mexican police and the Baja California Attorney General’s Office.

Authorities said Blair’s wife told police he left his hotel room on the night of his death to shoo away noisy pigeons. His family disputes the pigeon story, saying Williams had instead remarked to investigators that Blair commented during the day about pigeons in the hallway ceiling.

Additionally, the lead police investigator at the scene of Blair’s death told Williams that he was shot in the head. The autopsy concluded Blair died of a “traumatic brain injury.”

More on death of Elliot Blair

Body of Orange County lawyer back in U.S. from Mexico, private autopsy planned
OC attorney who died in Mexico remembered in night aglow with love
Body of OC attorney embalmed in Mexico before independent blood test could be done, lawyer says
Baja officials urged cremation to family of OC public defender who died in Rosarito Beach
OC public defender died in ‘unfortunate accident,’ Mexican authorities say

Also, Mexican police repeatedly encouraged the family to cremate Blair’s remains. Case Barnett, the attorney for Blair’s family, said they also were told his body was embalmed at the behest of Mexican prosecutors, not allowing blood to be drawn for an independent toxicology report.

On the night he died, Blair feasted on lobster, danced with his wife to the music of Earth, Wind and Fire at a local restaurant and enjoyed karaoke at the hotel bar, before retiring to their room close to midnight. Barnett said Blair took a shower while Williams went to sleep.

She later was awakened by two hotel employees, asking if the man beneath the walkway “was her boyfriend,” Barnett said.

A community vigil for Blair was held Jan. 26 in Orange and a memorial service is planned for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Christ Cathedral Arboretum in Garden Grove.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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