Elijah and his wife Jamie Lynn Snow were celebrating their 10 year anniversary at the Royalton Chic Cancún Resort & Spa when the father of two was allegedly kidnapped and killed.
Jamie is seeking more than $1 million in the suit, brought against Mansfield-based travel agency Let’s Go On Vacay, the Royalton Chic Hotel Resort & Spa in Cancún, Blue Diamond Hotels and Resorts, Inc. and Sunwing Travel Group, a privately owned travel company headquartered in Toronto, Canada.
Let’s Go On Vacay provided the Snows with hotels and resorts to choose from in Cancún, according to the suit.
They chose the Royalton Chic Hotel Resort & Spa. Blue Diamond Resorts owns the hotel in addition to more than 45 other resorts located throughout various islands and countries in the Caribbean and Mexico. Blue Diamond Resorts is a subsidiary that is either wholly owned or controlled by Sunwing.
The incident happened on the couple’s first night the all-inclusive resort on the beachfront strip of hotels in a popular, Cancún tourist destination.
According to the suit, the Snows arrived early at the resort before their room was ready. The front desk gave them some bracelets, which they could use to get drinks. It was 10 a.m. They went to the pool and socialized with other tourists, many of whom were from Texas.
According to the suit, “As the day wore on, hotel bartenders poured, served and encouraged most guests to consume hard liquor shots that were handed out at will without regard to guest safety. In many instances, the hotel bartender not only served these shots but encouraged the patrons to become extremely intoxicated.”
At 4 p.m., the Snows were given access to their room. They went inside, changed and returned to the pool bar. “Again, the Snows continued to drink alcoholic beverages provided by the same bar that had been serving them since 10 a.m. that morning,” the suit alleges.
At around 7 p.m. the Snows went back to their room and changed clothes for a dinner reservation at the resort’s Japanese-themed restaurant. While at dinner, the Snows were served a bottle of Japanese sake. This was the only alcoholic beverage billed to the Snows hotel bill or tracked as having been consumed by the couple, according to the suit. After dinner, the Snows walked to a martini bar located on the same floor where they each ordered a martini. Shortly thereafter, they moved to the Lobby Bar where they were again served alcoholic beverages.
At 8:40 p.m., Jamie told Elijah that she was tired from the early morning travel and was going to head up to their hotel room. Elijah said that he was going to finish his drink and then return to their room. This wasn’t unusual, as he was used to long hours working as a firefighter. But Jamie was exhausted from the long day of travel, according to the suit. She took an elevator up to their room and went to sleep.
The resort has numerous surveillance cameras located throughout, according to the suit. Cameras are plainly visible at the entrances and exits of the hotel and throughout the common areas of the hotel. However, many of the security cameras weren’t working or in proper order that night.
Months after Elijah’s death, camera footage was obtained after multiple frustrating requests facilitated by the United States Consulate’s Office.
Minutes after Jamie left the bar, video footage clearly shows Elijah entering the elevator that Jamie had just entered into an elevator carriage seconds before. It allegedly shows Elijah, who appears to be intoxicated, stumbling through the elevator bank pressing the elevator call buttons. With no immediate response from the elevator, he then walks to the opposite end of the elevator bank and begins ascending a circular stairwell inside the front of the hotel.
This is the last video surveillance in which Elijah is seen alive, according to the suit.
No other video of Elijah was found or provided to the Cancun Police Department, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office, the United State Consulate’s Office or, to his now widow, Jamie, the suit alleges. Nor was any footage provided showing Elijah leaving the property or walking through the lobby areas of the hotel.
Jaime went to sleep that night, only to wake up at 3:30 a.m. and discover her husband hadn’t returned to their room.
From 5 a.m. to ten in the morning, Jamie repeatedly notified hotel staff via WhatsApp that she could not find her husband. She communicated with hotel employees, repeatedly asking them to contact the police or authorities to help find Elijah.
A subsequent autopsy performed by Mexican Directorate of Expert Services showed Elijah was already dead when Jaime started searching for him, placing his time of death at 5 a.m. that morning.
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