An F.B.I. investigation into the mysterious demise of a Border Patrol agent discovered unconscious off a distant West Texas freeway in November has been unable to find out how he was injured, although the bureau stated on Wednesday that it had discovered no proof suggesting he had been attacked.
In a press release, the Federal Bureau of Investigation stated it couldn’t discover anybody who had witnessed the episode by which the agent, Rogelio Martinez, was killed moreover his companion, Stephen Garland, who survived however has no recollection of what occurred.
“This investigation has not conclusively decided how Mr. Martinez and his companion ended up on the backside of the culvert and no suspects have been linked to this incident,” the F.B.I. stated.
Simply hours after the brokers, who had been on responsibility, had been present in a darkish culvert off Interstate 10, about 100 miles east of El Paso, politicians seized on the information as a flash level in a broader debate about immigration and border safety. President Trump known as it an “assault” and additional proof wall was wanted alongside the USA’ border with Mexico. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas stated it underscored the fixed risks of safeguarding usually rugged and distant terrain.
However the F.B.I. report makes clear that the authorities knew little or no within the moments after the episode. There was, nevertheless, a faint clue: Disoriented and injured, Mr. Garland known as a Border Patrol dispatcher for backup as a result of that they had each been injured.
He additionally stated one thing about operating right into a culvert, however the dispatcher couldn’t make out precisely what he stated.
The F.B.I.’s report, which stated brokers had interviewed greater than 650 individuals, got here someday after the discharge of Mr. Martinez’s post-mortem report. The El Paso medical expert’s workplace discovered that Mr. Martinez, 36, had died of blunt accidents to the pinnacle, however couldn’t decide the style of demise.
Mr. Martinez, who lived in El Paso and have become an agent in 2013, and Mr. Garland had been patrolling the Huge Bend sector, an enormous space of 135,000 sq. miles in Texas and Oklahoma. When colleagues found them, they had been taken to a close-by hospital after which flown to a bigger hospital in El Paso, the place Mr. Martinez died the subsequent day.
Mr. Garland, who additionally had main head accidents and damaged bones, was later launched from the hospital.
Angie Ochoa, who was engaged to Mr. Martinez, stated on Wednesday that she first discovered of the post-mortem ends in a gathering with legislation enforcement officers two weeks in the past, and was frightened that investigators would transfer on from the case, despite the fact that the report was inconclusive.
“I used to be shocked, I used to be offended, I used to be disenchanted,” Ms. Ochoa stated, “as a result of now I feel that they will finish the investigation and that’s it.”
The post-mortem report famous barbiturate was present in his system. It will probably trigger drowsiness and can be utilized together with different medicines, corresponding to acetaminophen, to deal with complications and ache.
Ms. Ochoa stated she was shocked to be taught that her fiancé had a barbiturate in his system when he died. “It doesn’t make sense as a result of Roger by no means took something; we had nothing at dwelling,” she stated, including that he had not been to a physician.
However Ms. Ochoa stated that within the days earlier than he died, Mr. Martinez had been complaining of complications and neck stress. She thought it was doable that he might have accepted the treatment from a good friend or colleague with out realizing how a lot of an impact it might need on him.
Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for the Nationwide Border Patrol Council, stated that regardless of the F.B.I.’s report and the post-mortem outcomes, he nonetheless believed that Mr. Martinez was attacked on the night time of Nov. 18. He famous that the post-mortem didn’t discover accidents under his torso that might have indicated that the brokers had been hit by a automobile or concerned in an accident.
“It says that there is no such thing as a proof pointing it to being a battle,” Mr. Cabrera stated in an interview. “However then the F.B.I. nonetheless retains jurisdiction over it, and it doesn’t examine accidents.”
Mr. Martinez’s father, Jose Martinez, stated in an interview shortly after his son died that he believed his son had been attacked, maybe in a entice set by somebody. He stated his son’s accidents had been too extreme to be attributable to an accident.
In the course of the investigation, the F.B.I. stated that it recognized two “individuals of curiosity,” however forensic evaluation couldn’t hyperlink them to the episode. Whereas the investigators couldn’t clear up what occurred with Mr. Martinez and Mr. Garland, the F.B.I. stated the case would stay open.
Mr. Cabrera stated he was holding out hope that investigators ultimately arrest somebody within the case. “I truthfully consider they are going to,” he stated.