ARLINGTON, Texas - A Texas firefighter was found dead in a hotel in Cancun where he and his wife were celebrating their 10-year wedding anniversary, but his family has doubts it was an accident.
The family of Elijah Snow, a firefighter of eight years with the Arlington Fire Department, said he may have been kidnapped and murdered after Mexican officials said his body was found early Monday trapped in a hotel bathroom window.
Snow and his wife were drinking at a hotel bar when his wife returned to their room and he stayed behind, Snow’s father-in-law, Randy Elledge, told a local CBS affiliate. Snow’s wife woke up about 4 a.m. and alerted authorities after realizing he wasn't there, Elledge said.
Officials in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo said Friday that Snow died of mechanical asphyxiation after getting trapped in the bathroom window of the hotel, which was different from the one where he and his wife were staying several miles away, NBC News reported.
Elledge said Snow’s family hired an attorney who obtained crime scene photos showing he had been beaten over most of his body.
Officials, however, said they found no evidence of violence at the scene. An investigation is ongoing and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico is monitoring the case, according to reports.
Snow’s remains were returned to North Texas from Cancun on Friday. His funeral will be held Tuesday in Arlington.
Arlington Professional Firefighters, a labor association representing Arlington firefighters, said Snow "was an outstanding firefighter as well as a dedicated public servant," NBC 5 reported.
"The Fire Department will take all necessary steps to ensure that Elijah’s family is properly supported throughout this difficult time," the union said. "Our prayers are with his family."