The Arlington Fire Department is mourning the loss of a firefighter who family members believe was murdered while on vacation celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary at a resort in Cancun, Mexico, according to media reports.
Elijah Snow was found dead early Monday, KTVT-TV (Channel 11) reported, citing Randy Elledge, who the station said is Snow’s father-in-law. Elledge told the station that information and photos obtained for the family by an attorney in Mexico led them to believe that Snow had been beaten and possibly suffocated.
The incident occurred on the couple’s first night at the resort in the popular vacation destination, KTVT reported.
After having a few drinks at the hotel lobby bar, Snow’s wife, Jamie Snow, returned to their room while he stayed behind, KTVT and KXAS-TV (NBC5) reported. She went searching for him after waking up at 4 a.m. and seeing that he hadn’t come back, the station reported.
About 8:30 a.m., Jamie Snow was told that her husband had been found dead, possibly after a fall at a resort next door, KTVT reported. Suspicious, the family hired an attorney, who obtained crime-scene photos that Elledge said appeared to show that Snow’s body had been beaten below the head, the station reported.
“You’re supposed to be safe there,” Elledge told the station. “You’re at your resort, all inclusive, and have no intentions of leaving so you’ll be safe. And you’re not safe there.”
The Arlington Fire Department did not respond to a request for comment, and Snow’s family could not be reached Thursday afternoon.
Police in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, did not immediately respond to a request for information, KXAS reported.
Family members and a close friend are hoping that Snow’s body will be returned home by Friday, KTVT reported.
Arlington Professional Fire Fighters, an association representing the city’s firefighters, said Snow was an apparatus operator who had been with the department for at least eight years, NBC5 reported.
“He was an outstanding firefighter as well as a dedicated public servant. The Fire Department will take all necessary steps to ensure that Elijah’s family is properly supported throughout this difficult time,” the association said in a prepared statement Thursday.
The association’s charitable fund is collecting donations to support Snow’s family.
Snow’s father, Ronnie Snow, was an Arlington firefighter who died in 1985 while in the line of duty, the association said in the statement.
“He was our hero. The best dad and husband imaginable and my absolute best friend. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do,” Jamie Snow wrote Wednesday on Facebook.
Snow’s death was felt in the broader firefighting community.
“The fire service is a tight family,” Lewisville Fire Fighters Association Local 3606 wrote in a Facebook post. “When we lose one of our brothers and sisters, it isn’t just felt locally, it’s felt across the country.”
Of Snow, the chapter wrote: “He will be forever remembered for his dedicated service to the citizens of Arlington.”