Trail of clues fails to explain mysterious death of Border Patrol agent

Rogelio Martinez

FBI: No evidence that Border Patrol agent was attacked before death in Texas

Martinez and Garland were found injured on November 18 in a rock-strewn culvert that runs under Interstate 10 at about 11:20 p.m.

Art Del Cueto, national spokesman for the union, said Wednesday the FBI's comments were preliminary. "The dispatcher also recorded in a Border Patrol log, "[He] thinks they (both agents) ran into a culvert". In addition to the hundreds of interviews, a total of 26 searches have been carried out in Texas and New Mexico, and a total of 37 Federal Bureau of Investigation field offices have assisted in conducting interviews and pursuing leads.

On Twitter, President Donald Trump said the injured agent had been "brutally beaten" and called again for the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico.

"To date, none of the more than 650 interviews completed, locations searched, or evidence collected and analyzed have produced evidence that would support the existence of a scuffle, altercation or attack", the agency said in a statement, referring to the incident on November 18. Agent Rogelio Martinez died during a patrol in November. He was allegedly disoriented and unsure of his exact location but told the dispatcher that he and Martinez had been injured.

Sen. Ted Cruz also seized on the agent's death in calling for increased border enforcement.

An autopsy determined that Rogelio Martinez, 36, who was found unconscious at the bottom of a culvert, died of blunt-force trauma, though the cause of his injuries has yet to be determined, the agency said. To date, this investigation has not conclusively determined how Agent Martinez and his partner ended up at the bottom of the culvert and no suspects have been linked to this incident.


But FBI investigators so far have found no evidence of an attack or scuffle in Martinez's death, the FBI said Wednesday, further deepening the mystery.

In contrast, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), a union representing border patrol agents, had suggested that Martinez and his partner were ambushed with rocks by someone or some people, Reuters reported. He told the Dallas Morning News that investigators were looking at the possibility that the agents fell into the culvert in a nighttime accident. The FBI claims that Agent Martinez and his partner were on-duty and conducting routine checks of the area culverts.

The dispatcher told the agent to get back into his vehicle and flick on his emergency lights so that first responders could easily locate them.

The FBI says they are continuing to investigate Agent Martinez's death as a high priority and will pursue any new and relevant tips. The manner of death is undetermined.

But that part of the investigation only led to a smuggling of an illegal alien indictment. An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.

The agents did not suffer "defensive wounds" and investigators did not find "third-party blood or DNA evidence" in the scene or the agents' clothing, according to an internal memo, from acting US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, which was obtained by CNN. The FBI continues to offer a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the resolution of this case.

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