Earlier this month, a Texas firefighter’s holiday in Mexico went very wrong.
On 19 July, Elijah Snow, 35, a veteran firefighter from the city of Arlington did not return his hotel room in Cancún, where he and his wife Jamie were celebrating their 10-year wedding anniversary.
It was his first night away. His body was found at 8.30 am, more than four hours after Ms Snow realised that her husband had not returned to their hotel room after the couple split up following drinks at the hotel bar.
“I don’t want to alarm you, but Elijah’s missing,” she said in a text to relatives.
A statement by Mexican authorities said that his body was found in a window of a nearby hotel room and that he died of “mechanical asphyxia... because he was trapped in a window when trying to enter a bathroom”.
The hotel where he was found was different from the one he’d been staying at with his wife, NBC News reported.
“It is important to point out that no signs of violence were found at the scene, so everything seems to indicate that it could have been an accident,” the statement from Mexican authorities read.
But his family has major questions about that version of events, and suggest he may have been kidnapped.
David Oujesky, Snow’s stepfather, gave an interview to Good Morning America about how “out of character” the incident was for his step-son, a father of two.
He told the show on 29 July, “He just wouldn’t do that. The only way he would do that is if he was in fear for his life. And he knew that was his last resort, to try to get through there.”
Mr Oujesky went on to allege that Mexican police officers told his wife Jamie Snow that they were treating his death as a murder.
“That is where they told her that he had been found and what they told her was ... that it was homicidal without suspects,” he said, recounting what Ms Snow had told him.
Mr Oujesky is not the first member of Snow’s family to express concerns about the narrative surrounding his death.
Mr Snow’s father-in-law Randy Elledge said to CBS Dallas Forth-Worth that he had gotten a lawyer involved and together they had managed to get ahold of photographs of Snow’s body, which he said appeared to show injuries to the body.
“You’re supposed to be safe there,” Mr Elledge told the outlet. “You’re at your resort, all inclusive, and have no intentions of leaving so you’ll be safe. And you’re not safe there.”
In a Facebook post, Mr Elledge wrote, “Our hero has fallen we are devastated and heartbroken” and said that as a family, they were appealing for donations to made to the Arlington Professional Fire Fighters in Mr Snow’s name, where he worked for eight years.
His funeral will be held in Tuesday in Arlington.
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