The family of a California public defender who died while celebrating his wedding anniversary in Mexico believes he was the victim of a «brutal crime,» his attorney said Tuesday.

Elliot Blair, 33, died Saturday outside his hotel room at Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito Beach, about 32 miles south of San Diego, attorney David Scarsone said in a statement.

The incident occurred in an open-air walkway on the third floor of the complex, he said. Blair was found in his underwear, socks and a nightshirt outside a room where he and his wife had stayed in the past, according to the attorney’s statement.

Blair’s family has not learned of his death directly from local authorities; instead, they learned about what happened through a «liaison» with the local coroner’s office, according to the lawyer’s statement.

The liaison, who was not identified in the statement, told the family that Blair died of severe head trauma and that his case had been referred to prosecutors for a possible homicide investigation, according to the statement.

Rosarito Beach Mayor Hilda Araceli Brown Figueredo did not respond to a request for comment. A Las Rocas Resort spokeswoman said the hotel has been working closely with local authorities and declined to comment further.

In a statement provided Wednesday to NBC News by the resort’s public relations firm, Baja California’s attorney general said an investigation showed Blair appeared to have fallen from the third floor shortly before 1 a.m. He had no vital signs when police and the medical staff found him. says the statement.

The autopsy showed that his injuries were likely due to a fall and not an act of violence, the statement said. An investigation found no evidence of violence in the room where Blair and his wife were staying, the statement said.

The autopsy found signs of alcohol, the statement said. Scarsone has said that Blair was not intoxicated and that a toxicology report had not been completed.

Scarsone did not immediately respond to a request Wednesday night for comment on the statement.

The Mexican authorities had been communicating with US officials who, «since day one, have been given all the information so that, in turn, through them, steps can be taken to inform and assist the relatives of the deceased lawyer.» ”, said the statement from the attorney general. he says.

The US State Department said it was aware of reports of the death of a citizen in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

“We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance,” the department said in a statement Wednesday. «Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.»

Blair’s family plans to conduct an independent investigation, hiring a private investigator and a forensic pathologist, Scarsone said.

«Elliot was a brilliant lawyer with a bright future,» the statement said. «Elliot’s smile was radiant and warmed the hearts of everyone he came in contact with. Elliot had an innate ability to connect with people from all walks of life.»

Orange County Public Defender Martin Schwarz said Register that Blair had worked for the public defender’s office since 2017, the year he passed the bar exam. His wife, Kimberly, also worked for the public defender’s office, Schwarz told the newspaper.

He said Blair was a «devoted husband, a fine person and a fantastic attorney who dedicated his life to serving his clients and helping the county’s most vulnerable.»