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U.S. border patrol agent died from fall, not attack — report

Reuters
February 12. 2018 12:13AM




A U.S. Border Patrol agent who died three months ago in what President Donald Trump said was an attack likely was killed by an accidental fall into a deep culvert, a newspaper reported, citing a federal agency memo.

The memo from the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to agency staff suggests agent Rogelio Martinez, 36, and another agent fell into the culvert on a moonless night on Nov. 18 near the town of Van Horn, Texas, said the El Paso Times, which said it obtained a copy of the memo.

Border Patrol officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Last week, the FBI said that after conducting 650 interviews and analyzing evidence it had determined there was no attack on the two agents.

Shortly after Martinez’s death, Trump tweeted: “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

An autopsy report released last week showed Martinez died of blunt-force trauma. The FBI said it found no evidence that any “scuffle, altercation, or attack” had occurred.

According to the El Paso Times, the memo sent by CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said the other agent, Stephen Garland, fell about 22 feet from where Martinez fell, “landing on his back and sustaining significant injuries to his back and skull.

His resultant injuries have impaired the agent’s ability to recall the events of the incident.”

In late November, the U.S. Department of Justice offered a $25,000 reward for information related to a “potential assault on a federal officer” in the case.


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