CHEYENNE - A northern Wyoming man who died while on vacation in Mexico reportedly fell from a restaurant balcony, according to police in the Yucatan Peninsula beach city of Playa del Carmen.
The wife of David Ray Getzfreid, 38, said the Greybull resident died at a Cancun hospital on Dec. 14, five days after his gravely injured body was found on a Playa del Carmen street.
Patsy Getzfreid said Friday that she believes her husband was attacked. She and others were pursuing help from the American Embassy in Mexico to try to determine what happened to him after the two split ways the evening of Dec. 8.
"I honestly don't know," Patsy Getzfreid said Friday. "I think he was beaten."
Playa del Carmen Police Chief Rodolfo del Angel Campos told The Associated Press that police got an emergency call on Dec. 9 reporting that a man had fallen from a restaurant balcony. Responders found Getzfreid, who was severely injured, at a Burger King restaurant on the city's Fifth Avenue, a pedestrian promenade packed with restaurants, bars and shops.
Del Angel Campos said it was unclear what caused Getzfreid's 11-foot fall, but witnesses told investigators that Getzfreid arrived at the restaurant with a group of people. Police were investigating whether Getzfreid's wife was with him at the time of the fall, Del Angel Campos said.
"We're reviewing the tapes from security cameras to determine that," he said.
Patsy Getzfreid has said her husband was found by a restaurant owner. He had two broken wrists, fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and swelling and bleeding in the brain when he was found, she said.
She repeated Friday that she was not with her husband when he was injured. The two had gone to a bar together, but she had returned to their hotel at about 9:30 p.m. while her husband stayed at the bar, she said. She believes David Getzfreid was beaten later that night before being found and taken by ambulance to the hospital.
"He was alone because the desk clerk from the hotel that we were staying at saw Dave at midnight and this happened a little after midnight," she said, adding that the desk clerk saw her entering the hotel earlier in the evening.
Georgia Antley Hunt, the county attorney for Big Horn County, where the Getzfreids live, said she has been helping Patsy Getzfreid in her attempt to investigate what happened to her husband. Hunt said she contacted Burger King in the United States to find out if security camera recordings are available from the Burger King in Playa del Carmen. She has also contacted a U.S. Embassy Consular Agency in Mexico to request help in acquiring a copy of any police reports.
"I'm just trying to see if county attorney letterhead can maybe get us a little further," Hunt said. Patsy Getzfreid "is a citizen of my county, and I feel horrible for them. No one should ever have to go through that. I can't even imagine what they went through down there.
"I don't expect much, truthfully, but whatever I could do, I'd like to get accomplished for her."
Del Angel Campos said the paramedics who treated David Getzfreid while he was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Cancun told police that he was intoxicated. They also found documents that identified him as Dave Getzfreid, Del Angel Campos said.
Patsy Getzfreid said her husband was not carrying any identification on him the night he was injured.
"I had everything in the safe in our room, in the hotel room," she said. "I had his wallet. I had his passport. I had his tourist card. I had everything."
Patsy Getzfreid has said she was able to find her husband at the hospital. "At the hospital, he was an unknown - nobody knew who he was," she said.
She said she was able to spend time with her husband before he died and ask him about what happened, but he couldn't remember.
Patsy Getzfreid has said she is also attempting to get medical records, including X-rays and an autopsy report, from the Cancun hospital.
A memorial for David Getzfreid, a Marine veteran who worked as a self-employed landscaper and excavator, was held Dec. 27. His body has been cremated, his wife said.
Del Angel Campos said the police investigation was continuing.