Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Autopsy adds to mystery of Border Patrol agent's death

Agent Martinez was found at the bottom of a roadside culvert near Van Horn Texas on November 18 Autopsy adds to mystery of Border Patrol agent's death
Stacy Diaz | 09 February, 2018, 02:02

Rogelio Martinez died from injuries he sustained while he and his partner were responding to reports of unknown activity the night of November 18 near Van Horn, a Texas town near the Mexico border about 110 miles (175 kilometers) southeast of El Paso.

Shortly after Mr Martinez's death, Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo cast doubt on the notion that the agent had died in an attack. Garland also suffered injuries.

Angie Ochoa, who was engaged to Mr. Martinez, said on Wednesday that she first learned of the autopsy results in a meeting with law enforcement officials two weeks ago, and was anxious that investigators would move on from the case, even though the report was inconclusive.

The memo also states that due to his injuries, Garland's ability to recall the events has been impaired.

The FBI has considered other theories, such as an accident or an altercation between the two agents, a Department of Justice official with knowledge of the investigation had said.

Texas politicians - including Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen.

The union was quick to say the agents were attacked after the incident.

"Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt".

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

No other suspects have been linked to the incident.

The only footprints at the scene belonged to the agents and first responders, the memo said.

Additionally, the El Paso County Medical Examiner has now released the autopsy report indicating blunt injuries of the head as the cause of death.

Dr. Janice Diaz-Cavalliery, assistant medical examiner, found that Martinez had a skull fracture, a fractured eye socket, multiple rib fractures and a broken collarbone, according to the 11-page report.

There's been much speculation about whether the agent was ambushed or if his death was an accident. He also theorized that the agent's could have been sideswiped by a passing vehicle. Investigators have said he can not recall details about what happened. "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".

Buie's office said Garland was "disoriented and unsure" of his location at the time, and thought both he and Martinez had run into the culvert.

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

First responders found Martinez first, according to the internal Customs and Border Protection memo.

Martinez was found at the bottom of a culvert and died of his injuries the next day. The agent and his partner were responding to activity near a freeway in the Van Horn Station area when they were attacked.

A Border Patrol union, the National Border Patrol Council, has previously said the pair was attacked and struck with a rock or rocks.

"Our view hasn't changed".

He "has been cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation during his healing process", Jeanette Harper, an Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent and spokeswoman for the agency's El Paso office told CNN in December.