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2 years after death of El Paso Border Patrol agent, questions remain

The FBI is still investigating the death of Rogelio Martinez.
The FBI is still investigating the death of Rogelio Martinez.

EL PASO, Texas -- It has been two years since the death of Rogelio Martinez, a Border patrol agent from El Paso. To this day, his cause of death remains a mystery. The case made news around the world, but the investigation remains open.

Right before he died, Martinez was patrolling in a remote and deserted area. He was with his work partner Stephen Garland in Culberson County near I-10 and Van Horn. Martinez was found at the bottom of a culvert that runs below I-10, seriously injured and unconscious. He died at an El Paso hospital several hours later. An autopsy report indicated Martinez suffered blunt injuries to the head, but the manner of death was undetermined. FBI reports show officials said they didn't find any evidence that Martinez was murdered or attacked.

Garland was also found nearby, injured, but conscious. He reportedly cannot remember what happened.

Martinez is survived by his fiancée Angela Ochoa. ABC-7 reached out to her to ask about the case, but she did not respond. At the time, in an emotional interview with CNN, Ochoa expressed her frustration with the lack of answers surrounding the death.

"You know you feel at one point like you're getting somewhere, and then you're just knocked back down and its like 'what happened?'" Ochoa said."You know, you're back to square one."

A leaked CBP memo on the incident suggested the agents could have fallen into the Culvert. The Culberson County Sheriff said he thought it was an accident.

Ochoa, at the time, said she did not believe his death was caused by a fall.

"These stories that are being put out there are not true, they can't be true," she said. "In the beginning, maybe I believed them but not after seeing the site."

Other theories were that two agents were sideswiped by a semi-trailer. At one point, President Donald Trump said Martinez and his partner were attacked by undocumented immigrants.

The FBI is still offering a 50,000 dollar reward for information that helps solve this case.

Article Topic Follows: On the Border
border patrol
stephen garland
two years later

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Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.


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