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California deputy public defendant killed while vacationing in Mexico: officials



An attorney working for the Orange County Public Defender’s Office was killed Saturday while celebrating his one-year anniversary with his wife in Mexico, California officials said.

Elliot D. Blair, a 33-year-old assistant public defender, died in Rosarito Beach, a popular resort near Mexico’s northern border, county public defender Martin Schwarz said in a statement provided to The Orange County Register.

It’s not immediately clear how Blair was killed, but a GoFundMe set up on behalf of his family said he was the victim of a “brutal crime”.

“Elliot was known as a patient and caring advocate,” wrote the page’s author, Annie Rodriguez, another staff member with the public defender’s office. “He was the best of us and was loved by countless members of our office and the Orange County legal community. We are heartbroken.

His wife, identified on the fundraising page as a woman named Kim, was not involved in the incident. She was also a public defender, according to Rodriguez.

“There aren’t enough words to express the level of love he had for Kim,” Rodriguez added. “Kim was his life…Kim’s heart is broken.”

Other relatives of Kim and Blair were negotiating Sunday for the repatriation of his body to the United States.

A Spanish-language report from outlet Rosarito Noticias BC attributed Blair’s death to a fall from a fourth-floor balcony at Las Rocas Resort and Spa, a local hotel. A police account of the incident reportedly detailed how city officers were summoned to the scene and found a man, later identified as Blair, unresponsive and face down around 1am on Saturday.

Blair, who started working at the Public Defender’s Office immediately after passing the bar in 2017, was described by Schwarz as a “dedicated husband, a wonderful person and a fantastic lawyer who has dedicated his life to serving his clients and helping the county’s most vulnerable.”

Schwarz also said he was “working with local and federal officials” to gather more details about the case, as little information about the case has been shared with Blair’s family by Mexican authorities so far. .

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