The border Patrol agent’s death is still not resolved
Griff Jenkins walks through the agent’s possible last moments.
A U.S. border patrol agent who died in the vicinity of the mexican border in Texas last November could be ambushed and attacked from behind, to explain why the FBI did not find signs of a scuffle is detailed in the recently released findings, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) union chief told Fox News on Thursday.
Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, 36, died of “blunt force trauma” to his head, caused by an “undetermined manner of death,” an autopsy report released Tuesday said. Martinez and agent Stephen Garland were found injured on Nov. 18 in a ditch near Interstate 10 outside of van Horn. Although the FBI said in a report Wednesday that their investigation found “no scuffle, contention, or attack,” NBPC union chief Brandon Judd told Fox News that investigators still suspect there was an attack on a federal agent.
Rogelio Martinez, 36, had died of blunt trauma to his head.
“If you do everything as a whole…[the FBI] still today remain competent, so they still believe that there is an attack. But they are transparent in saying, we have no evidence that there was a scuffle,” Judd said.
“Just because there is no evidence of a scuffle doesn’t mean it’s not an attack,” he added.
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Judd said a Border Patrol agent’s day-to-day work could explain why the researchers found no evidence of a scuffle in Martinez and Garland’s the case. Agents, while tracking groups of illegal immigrants into the night, with their head down and flashlights pointed to the ground to look for footprints. Judd said at the time these footprints are hard to follow, and agents do not have a clear picture of their peripherals.
Judd continues, “When we have the flashlight on and our heads down looking at the ground, we have a very limited view of what is in our peripheral. Because we have a torch it would be very easy for someone to hide and we have to walk by to strike us in the head. It would be very easy to do that.”
Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were found in this pit in November. Martinez died of his injuries. (Brandon Judd/NBPC)
“The only thing in my head that it makes sense that they were being attacked from behind,” Judd explained. “If they were, in fact, behind the attack, there is a good chance that there would be no proof of a struggle or fight, because they were hit in the back of their head and they were immediately knocked unconscious.”
“Once that happens, no scuffle, no fight.”
A digital billboard displayed by the FBI looking for information about Martinez.
The FBI gave Garland ‘ s statements to the dispatcher when he radioed for help. Garland said: “We got in a hole”, “I ran into a pit,” or “I think I ran into a ditch,” according to Wednesday’s report. The coordinator also said that Garland, ” they [the two agents] walked into a pit.” An earlier theory about Martinez’s death stated that the agents have fallen into the pit.
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But Judd disputed that the theory, the quote where Martinez and Garland were found.
“Rogelio Martinez was found, it is my understanding that half of his body was in the tunnel and the half of his body was in,” Judd said. “That is no indication of the attack of a pit and if you look at where the other agent was found, also no indication of falling off a pit.”
“Just because there is no evidence of a scuffle does not mean that it is not an attack.”
– Brandon Judd, NBPC Union Chief
“What it sounds like to me, from my experience, was that they were running in the tunnels, in the pit. They were probably running in the ditch, attacked from behind, hit in the back of the head, that is where both of their injuries were inflicted,” he said.
Judd also said that the autopsy showed no signs of trauma to Martinez and the Pendulum the lower organs — the identification of the agents were probably not sideswiped by a tractor-trailer, which pushed them into the pit, as Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carillo previously claimed.
Martinez had a skull fracture, a broken eye socket, multiple rib fractures and a broken collarbone, according to the 11-page autopsy report. He also suffered brain bleeding, but no other internal injuries. Martinez is a partner suffered similar injuries.
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There are, however, three months after the deadly incident, the FBI is not “conclusively established” which has led to Martinez and Garland was seriously wounded in the bottom of the pit. Martinez’s fiancee Angie Ochoa told KTSM she believes that the FBI could do more in research.
Another theory suggested the agents fell to their death. The diver was 8 feet 8 inches high. The agents were found in the pit. (Brandon Judd/NBPC)
“I have the company itself, but I’m going to say it: I don’t feel that they have looked at the other agent, the way in which they have examined me,” Ochoa told the news site. “I just have the feeling that the FBI is not doing what they should do, and it makes us feel this is it.”
No suspects are linked to the incident. The two people identified as persons of interest were ultimately determined to not be involved in Martinez’s death.
Researchers have conducted more than 650 interviews and involved 37 offices in their probe. The FBI said it will continue with its investigation into the incident and continues to offer a $50,000 reward for the information.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam