ARLINGTON, Texas — Elijah Snow’s body came home to D-FW Friday, but there are still many unanswered questions about what happened to the veteran Arlington firefighter.
Authorities with the Quintana Roo State Attorney General's Office, which is investigating Snow's death, said in a statement late Friday that Snow died of mechanical asphyxia due to thoracic-abdominal compression.
The statement said Snow was trapped in a window when trying to enter a bathroom and could not support his feet on the ground, giving him no support point to release himself from the window.
The Quintana Roo authorities said Snow's death appeared to be an accident but that they were still investigating what happened.
"They are the ones that are the primary investigator. They have jurisdiction,” said Eric Cedillo, an attorney and SMU law professor.
The Mexican Attorney General’s Office tweeted some information earlier Friday, saying Snow’s body was found in a bathroom window at a hotel in the Benito Juarez district. Authorities said it’s not the same hotel where Snow and his wife were staying at.
It was remained unclear why Snow was at the hotel or how he got there.
Snow and his wife were celebrating their 10-year anniversary at a resort in Cancun.
His friends and family say they are in disbelief.
Battalion Chief Jackie Parker was his friend.
"It's tough. It's a shock to everybody in the fire department. We are absolutely devastated,” said Parker.
Parker told WFAA that Snow's wife called authorities when he didn't return to their room after hanging out at a bar.
While Mexican authorities will determine if there was a crime, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico will help monitor the case. The FBI could also get involved, if asked.
"The FBI does have attaches and offices throughout Mexico. If they are invited by Mexican authorities to help with an investigation, they can do that,” said Cedillo.
Typically, Mexican authorities would conduct an autopsy and the family could request a second one.
“Of course an autopsy can occur here in the U.S. It's a very real possibility the family could bring it back,” said Cedillo.
The family is working with an independent investigator to get some answers and if needed Interpol, internal criminal police, could also get involved.
But while the family searches for answers, they also prepare to say goodbye to a dedicated father, friend and public servant.