FBI Says There Is No Evidence Border Patrol Agent Murdered

Rogelio Martinez

Agents Rogelio Martinez and Stephen Garland were found at the bottom of a culvert in West Texas in November. Martinez's unnamed partner was also found with serious injuries but survived and remains hospitalized. Garland also suffered injuries.

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

The union was quick to say the agents were attacked after the incident. A spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represented the officers, said it was an "ambush".

Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also have said the two were attacked, with Trump using the incident to renew his call for a border wall between the US and Mexico.

"As part of this effort, the FBI has investigated multiple theories, including whether the Border Patrol Agents were ambushed or attacked or whether their injuries were as a result of an accident or any other relevant criminal activity", El Paso Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. said in a press statement Wednesday afternoon.

No other suspects have been linked to the incident.

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 auto accident.

The manner of Martinez's death is still "undetermined". As a result of the exhaustive investigation, several suspects in Portales, N.M., were charged with alien smuggling, but none were found to be connected to the death of the 36-year-old agent. He noted that the autopsy did not find injuries below his torso that could have indicated that the agents were hit by a vehicle or involved in an accident. Investigators have said he can not recall details about what happened.

Martinez would die hours later from head injuries, according to preliminary information from the medical examiner.

The FBI said it conducted more than 650 interviews, including interviews with federal, state and local first responders, as well as dozens of medical personnel who treated Martinez and Garland.




In his distress call, Garland told the dispatcher: "We ran into a culvert", "I ran into a culvert" or "I think I ran into a culvert", the report said.

"The dispatcher also wrote into a Border Patrol log, "[He] thinks they (both agents) ran into a culvert". They have found no evidence to support that.

The FBI says Garland spoke to a Border Patrol dispatcher on the phone.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson declined to comment on the case.

"The height of the culvert to the area above the opening is approximately nine feet", the memo said.

"Our view hasn't changed. Our view is he was attacked", he told CNN, referring to the FBI's investigation. "I honestly believe they will", he said. "It's just dumb, the physics aren't there". He doesn't have injuries on both sides of his body.

Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo, who responded that night, said it didn't look like an attack to him.

"If you got hit from behind and didn't have a chance to defend yourself, then how would you defend yourself?"

The FBI statement offered the most detailed information to date on the events of November 18.

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