image distributed by the FBI on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in El Paso,
Texas, shows a request for information in the death of U.S. Customs and
Border Protection Agent Rogelio Martinez.
(AP) — FBI officials said the investigation into the November death of a
U.S. Border Patrol agent has yielded no evidence that there was a
"scuffle, altercation or attack" more than two months after President
Donald Trump and others used the suggestion of an attack to promote the
building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
have conducted more than 650 interviews and involved 37 field offices
in their probe, but have not found definitive evidence of an attack, the
FBI said in a statement Wednesday. The investigation will continue and
the reward of up to $50,000 for information that closes the case will
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," said the release from the El Paso office of Emmerson
Buie, a special agent in charge.
Martinez died from injuries he sustained while he and his partner were
responding to reports of unknown activity the night of Nov. 18 near Van
Horn, a Texas town near the Mexico border about 110 miles (175
kilometers) southeast of El Paso.
partner radioed for help before both agents were airlifted to the
hospital, where 36-year-old Martinez died a few hours later. The
partner— who suffered from head injuries— was released from the hospital
after several days, but told investigators he could not remember the
FBI release Wednesday noted that a dispatcher, who was among the people
interviewed by investigators, took the call from the surviving agent.
According to the release, the dispatcher wrote in his log that, "(He)
thinks they (both agents) ran into a culvert."
autopsy report from the El Paso County medical examiner's office
released Tuesday night shed little light on what caused the serious
injuries that Martinez suffered. The report listed "blunt force trauma"
as the cause of death, but said the manner of his death was
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. She found
brain hemorrhaging but no other internal injuries.
Border Patrol union, the National Border Patrol Council, has previously
said the pair was attacked and struck with a rock or rocks. Messages
left with representatives of the group were not immediately returned
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 U.S. and Mexico.
has repeatedly linked immigration to criminality in making his case for
tighter border security. Earlier this week, Trump called on Democrats
to "get tough" on immigration, citing the death of Indianapolis Colts
linebacker Edwin Jackson, who was killed in a suspected drunken-driving
crash involving a Guatemalan citizen living illegally in the U.S. Manuel
Orrego-Savala was charged Wednesday with two counts each of causing
death while driving intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.
had looked into tips about several persons of interest including two in
New Mexico. While other charges were filed against several individuals,
none of those charges are related to Martinez's death, the FBI release
said, adding that they are not "currently a subject in the