The family of a 29-year-old man who died while on vacation in Mexico with friends last fall is seeking answers.
Maurice Colburt died on Sept. 2 in Rosarito, Mexico, after having a drink from his cocktail.
Colburt was with his friends at the popular tourist spot Papas & Beer having drinks when he suddenly collapsed at around 11 p.m, according to Fox 11 News.
“They were standing at the bar, and they were having a conversation with these young ladies and the people at the bar,” said his mother, Evangela Thomas. “And he took a sip out of a drink and just collapsed.”
Colburt’s friends reportedly saw him collapse inside the bar area of the eatery and tried to help him up, but he was unresponsive. His friends screamed for help from the staff but, according to his mother, the staff did not help Colburt nor did they call for medical assistance. Instead, the staff removed him from the premises and put him in the alley next to the restaurant.
Eventually, the paramedics were called, and when they arrived, they pronounced the 29-year-old from Long Beach, California, dead. According to a GoFundMe page set up for the family, after Colburt was put outside in the alley, the paramedics made no attempt to resuscitate him.
“Shortly after this terrible act took place, paramedics arrived at the scene. The paramedics pronounced him dead without any attempts to resuscitate him. No police investigation took place that night.”
Thomas also noted that Mexican authorities and the U.S. Embassy have provided her with no answers regarding the death of her son except that he allegedly died of a heart attack. She added that the morgue charged her extra fees to return her son’s body to the United States, and the family has had to investigate his death on their own.
The family also had trouble locating Colburt’s body after the ambulance took him away from the bar. They used Colburt’s phone’s tracker to locate him at the morgue.
Colburt graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor of arts in environmental studies with an emphasis on energy policy and green building.
Thomas told podcast host John Lordan that her son was a positive and motivated person who loved the outdoors and spent his free time hiking. She also noted that in the three short years, he worked at the San Jose Water Company, he’d been promoted four times.
The grieving mother also told Lordan how callously her son was treated by the restaurant’s staff.
“They just drug him outside and dumped him in the alley like a piece of trash,” she said. “No one was doing anything to help him.”
She went on to say that the first call was received by emergency services at 11:19 p.m., adding that his friends didn’t speak Spanish but were frantically trying to get someone to help them.
“And then they arrived on the scene at 11:22 p.m., two to three minutes later, and they did nothing to resuscitate my son,” she cried. “They did nothing to try and get him any medical help. They just told them [his friends] ‘Oh, he’s gone. He’s dead.”
Thomas said that she received the times from the police report provided to her by Mexican authorities. She added that there were no statements from witnesses or employees in the report, even though the establishment was packed full of people. She also pointed out several inconsistencies in the report compared to what the family was told, including a statement that claimed her son’s body was found in the alley alone, despite the fact that his friends were with him.
“It doesn’t make any sense.”
Thomas said an autopsy was performed on Colburt in Mexico, and another private autopsy was performed in the United States at her request. Thomas said the results from the first autopsy were inconsistent with the preliminary one performed in the U.S. and a further investigation is being conducted based on the inconsistencies. However, Mexican authorities are being less than forthcoming in releasing information to the family’s medical examiner.
Thomas also said that Mexican authorities claim that Colburt died from a heart attack, but the medical examiner in the U.S. did not indicate any trauma indicating Colburt had a heart attack and noted all of his organs appeared healthy. Thomas believes something was put into her son’s drink and that caused his death.
The family is asking anyone who may have been at the Papas & Beer in Rosarito, Mexico between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Sept. 2, 2022, to contact them with any information they may have, including video footage or photographs at [email protected]