FBI Finds No Evidence of Attack in Death of Border Agent

FBI Finds No Evidence of Attack in Death of Border Agent

FBI Finds No Evidence of Attack in Death of Border Agent

The FBI in El Paso said Wednesday it can not find any evidence that an attack led to his death. "The dispatcher also recorded in a Border Patrol log, "[He] thinks they (both agents) ran into a culvert".

Immediately following the incident, President Donald Trump cited the agent's death while renewing his call for a border wall with Mexico.

Then late Wednesday, Emmerson Buie Jr. special agent in charge of the FBI's El Paso office, which led the investigation, released a blockbuster statement: "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 on November 18, 2017".

Authorities were also alerted by Garland's wife, who called the Van Horn Border Patrol station saying she'd received a cell phone call in which her husband seemed confused and disoriented, according to an agent who spoke with her. Ted Cruz and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seized on the incident as grounds for tighter border security.

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. The dispatcher noted that the second agent said something to the effect of "We ran into a culvert", "I ran into a culvert", or "I think I ran into a culvert" during the dispatch call.

He also said something about running into a culvert, but the dispatcher could not make out exactly what he said.

The FBI had identified two persons of interests in the case. When colleagues discovered them, they were taken to a nearby hospital and then flown to a larger hospital in El Paso, where Mr. Martinez died the next day.

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Despite the FBI's conclusion that there's no evidence of an attack, the Border Patrol union still believes the agent's injuries were the result of an attack.

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.

Early on in the investigation, the FBI said it was investigating the death as a "possible assault" but refused to rule out other possibilities, such as a fall or a vehicle accident. The FBI claims that Agent Martinez and his partner were on-duty and conducting routine checks of the area culverts.

The Border Patrol dispatch told Garland to go to his vehicle and activate his emergency lights so that first responders could find them, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

The Medical Examiner was not, however, able to determine the manner of death - meaning that an accidental death was not ruled out after autopsy.

"Through forensic analysis both have been determined not to have had anything to do with the death of Agent Martinez and the injuries to his partner", read the release from Buie. An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.

The FBI has been considering several possibilities, including an accident, an attack or an altercation between the two agents, a Department of Justice official with knowledge of the investigation said. There is a $50,000 reward for information leading to the resolution of this case.

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