Federal Bureau of Investigation says Border Patrol agent killed in West Texas was not attacked

Rogelio Martinez

The FBI says it has conducted more than 650 interviews and found no evidence that Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez's fatal injuries were caused by an attack, despite his union's insistence that he was murdered.

Martinez and his partner Stephen "Michael" Garland were responding to unknown activity on the night of November 18 near Van Horn, a Texas town near the Mexico border and about 110 miles southeast of El Paso.

A medical examiner in Texas said Martinez died from blunt injuries to his head, but the manner of his death is "undetermined," according to an autopsy report released Tuesday.

The night after Martinez's death President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: "Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. The second Border Patrol Agent also made a statement to the effect of, 'We ran into a culvert, ' 'I ran into a culvert, ' or 'I think I ran into a culvert'".

Rogelio Martinez died while patrolling in the Big Bend Sector of the border in Texas.

The statement also said no suspects have been linked to the incident.

The FBI also reviewed a telephone conversation between a Border Patrol dispatcher and Garland, who was disoriented and unsure of his location. Patrick tweeted that Martinez was "murdered in the line of duty".

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About 11:20 p.m. Martinez and another agent, Stephen "Michael" Garland, were found injured near a concrete-lined culvert - a tunnel used for water drainage.

Martinez had fractures to his skull, right jaw, upper ribs and his right collarbone, the report by the El Paso County Medical Examiner's Office says.

Despite the FBI's findings, Border Patrol union leaders continue to maintain the agents were attacked by immigrant or drug smugglers, but have offered no evidence for the claim.

Agent Stephen Garland, 38, has since returned home and was assisting investigators, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jeanette Harper.

Mr. Martinez's father, Jose Martinez, said in an interview shortly after his son died that he believed his son had been attacked, perhaps in a trap set by someone.

The search for witnesses spanned multiple states and included electronic billboards in New Mexico and other border states offering a $25,000 reward for information.

"The FBI will continue to investigate the incident involving Agent Martinez and his partner, and will pursue any new and relevant tips and leads", according to the agency's statement.

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Jeffrey Monroe , 54, of Avon, Indiana, was the ride-share driver who also was killed in the crash around 4 a.m. Sunday. "This is just one of many such preventable tragedies". "The family is in shock, as you can imagine".

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

While it remains a mystery what, exactly, happened to Martinez and Garland, there's no reason to believe they were attacked or ambushed.

Cops and politicians blasted Trump's premature assumption, and on Wednesday evening, the FBI released the result of a months-long investigation: there's no evidence to suggest that Martinez's death was the result of a "scuffle, altercation or attack".

The FBI has not publicly stated that the agents fell, but McAleenan's memo is consistent with working theories of what happened, according to investigators.

Cornyn, who tweeted in November that he told Martinez's mother that those responsible would be found and held accountable, told reporters during a conference call Thursday that it appeared the death was indeed the result of an accident.

"If you fall from that height, you're not just going to land above the waist, your legs have to hit at some point", Cabrera said.

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