Texas firefighter's death in Cancun was not an accident, family says

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Texas firefighter's death in Cancun was not an accident, family says
Mexican authorities say 35-year-old Elijah Snow's death was an accident, but his family says that's not the case.

CANCUN, Mexico (KTRK) -- The death of a Texas firefighter in Mexico continues to spark questions as his family insists that it was not an accident as local authorities have claimed.

Elijah Snow, a 35-year-old firefighter from Arlington, was found dead while celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary with his wife in Cancun.

The local attorney general in Mexico said Snow's body was found inside a bathroom at a nearby hotel and not the hotel where he and his wife were staying.

Mexican authorities said Snow died of "mechanical asphyxia due to thoracic-abdominal compression."

Snow's wife said she called authorities when he didn't come back to the hotel from a bar.

"It's a shock to everybody in the fire department, and we are absolutely heartbroken," said Sgt. Jackie Parker with the Arlington Fire Department.

Snow's family told a Dallas TV station they believe he was kidnapped and murdered. They have since hired an attorney, who obtained photos that appeared to show the firefighter's body was beaten.

ABC News has not obtained those photos.

"The FBI does have international attaches," said Eric Cedillo, a Dallas-area attorney and an SMU law professor. "They've got offices throughout Mexico. If they are invited by the Mexican authorities to help with an investigation, they can do that."

It's unclear what Snow's family will do next.

Meanwhile, the U.S. state department issued a travel advisory on July 12 asking people to reconsider traveling to Mexico due to both increased cases of COVID-19 and violent crime.

"Violent crime - such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery - is widespread and common in Mexico," read the advisory. "The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities."