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Firefighter dies of ‘mechanical asphyxia’ after being trapped in a window while on vacation in Mexico; family claims foul play


Emerson Clarridge

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

An Arlington firefighter on vacation in Mexico was accidentally asphyxiated last week when he became trapped in a window as he tried to enter a bathroom, Mexican law enforcement authorities have concluded.

No signs of violence were found at the scene of Elijah Snow’s death on Monday at a hotel in Cancun, according to the State Attorney General’s Office for Quintana Roo.

Snow’s relatives have said they think that Snow’s death was criminal, according to news reports. They believe that he was kidnapped and beaten. He was in Mexico with his wife to celebrate their 10-year anniversary.

“According to the report of the forensic experts, the cause of death was due to mechanical asphyxia due to thoracic-abdominal compression because he was trapped in a window when trying to enter a bathroom,” according to an account from the attorney general’s office that was released on Friday and translated from Spanish. Because of the height, Snow could not support his feet when the upper part of his body was stuck, and “he lost mobility and there was no point of support.”

Snow died at a hotel in Benito Juárez that is about 10 miles from the hotel where he and his wife were guests.

The attorney general’s office is in contact with United States consular authorities as the investigation continues.

Authorities have not said how Snow got to the hotel where he was found dead or why he would have tried to crawl through the window.

KTVT-TV has reported that Snow’s body was found Monday morning after the couple’s first night on vacation at a resort in Cancun.

His wife, Jamie Snow, searched for him Monday morning when he did not return to their room, and she was told that he had been found dead and had possibly fallen over a wall between resorts, the television station reported.

Family members did not believe that explanation and hired a local attorney who obtained photographs of the scene, according to KTVT-TV. Randy Elledge, Snow’s father-in-law, told the television station that it appeared that Elijah Snow had been beaten and possibly suffocated.

Snow had been an Arlington firefighter for eight years, according to the department.

His body was returned on a flight to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on Friday, according to KXAS-TV.

His funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Rush Creek Church, 2350 SW Green Oaks Blvd. in Arlington. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Moore Funeral Home, 1219 N. Davis Drive.


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