Local Travel Agent Also Being Sued In The Same Suit
The family of an American fireman allegedly murdered in the seaside resort town of Cancun is suing the hotel where they stayed. The family is seeking legal action for negligence, withholding important information, and disregarding customer safety.
The family is also suing the Mansfield travel agency, Let’s Go On Vacay, who sold them the package and showed them the available Cancun hotels, as well as Blue Diamond Hotels and Resort Inc, and Sunwing Travel Group. Blue Diamond owns the Royalton Chic Property, while Sunwing owns or controls Royalton in some manner of subsidiary agreement.
The hotels and Mexican authorities have maintained that Mr. Snow’s death was an accident, but the family has heavily disputed the statements. The suit centers around the hotel’s actions of the day of the murder, with Mrs. Snow claiming the hotel was negligently encouraging customers to get drunk, as well as lack of security systems in place including adequate CCTV.
Arlington, Texas fireman Elijah Snow was celebrating his tenth wedding anniversary with his wife, Jamie Lyn, in Cancun in July 202 when tragedy struck. Snow was found dead on just the second morning of the trip while staying at the Royalton Chic Cancun Resort and Spa.
According to Mrs. Snow, the couple had arrived at the Royalton Chic prior to the designated check-in time and their room was not ready yet. The pair were given bracelets to use at the hotel’s beachside bar at the back of the hotel and encouraged to enjoy themselves while the room was made up. This was at around 10am in the morning.
The Snows spent most of the day drinking by the pool where, according to Mrs. Snow, the bartenders were actively encouraging guests to get drunk, and regularly pouring shots of hard liquor. The couple continued to enjoy themselves for most of the day, enjoyed dinner at the hotel restaurant, and continued to drink further.
Mrs. Snow eventually grew tired and headed to bed alone. Elijah told his wife he would finish his drink and follow her up. CCTV footage from the bar shows him stumbling into the elevator area moments after his wife and, frustrated by the elevators taking so long, proceeded to enter a nearby stairwell to walk up to his room. This was the last known footage of Elijah snow seen alive.
Snow’s body was found bundled into a tiny window in a neighboring hotel. His wife was told he fell between the two buildings and died.
When she was taken to identify the body she was only shown his face and had to pressure the attendants to see a photo of the entire body. The photo was from a distance and she was charged $600 to take a photo of the evidence.
Pictures were eventually released, taken by Mrs. Snow’s father and published by the Daily Mail, showing multiple bruises all over his body consistent with a beating. According to Mrs. Snow, mud and dirt were found on his body as if he had been dragged, and there was no cash left in his wallet.
Mrs. Snow believes he was kidnapped, robbed, beaten, and killed before his body was attempted to be concealed in the small room in the next hotel. She said one police officer had suggested murder, but other authorities and the hotel are sticking with accidental death.
According to the lawsuit, the family are seeking “over $1 million in monetary relief for loss of inheritance, mental anguish and past and future loss of companionship”. They claim the travel agent had a responsibility to inform the family of the danger of visiting the area, including claims that the region is safer than cities like Paris or Las Vegas.
The Cancun Sun has reported on these statistics before, which were made by local authorities. The statistics do indicate that tourists are more likely to be the victim of crime in those cities, the crucial difference lies in the type of crime. Paris has high rates of petty crime, far higher than Cancun’s, but Cancun’s increasing violent crime poses a threat to everyone, even if not usually directed at tourists.
The vast majority of tourists feel completely safe in Cancun and rarely have problems. But to ignore the high risk of violence is dangerous. Travel advisories have already warned visitors to avoid going out alone at night.
It appears that the travel agent in question is using those figures to help coerce tourists into choosing Cancun or Quintana Roo over other options – a central claim in the suit.
The hotel, on the other hand, is being sued for negligence and insufficient security protocols. Mrs. Snow suggests it may never have happened if they had not been plugged so much alcohol, while the lack of CCTV in the stairwell and the refusal to let her see any further footage remains suspicious.
The case is unlikely to be solved, and it is unclear where the lawsuit will go. Whether a settlement is an option or if her lawyers are confident in the case is entirely unclear at this moment.
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