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Border Patrol Agent Dies During Search in Rugged Terrain at Arizona Border

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent died Sunday after fellow agents found him unresponsive in a remote part of the Arizona border east of Nogales.

Agent Robert Hotten, 44, was responding to a ground sensor that appeared to be triggered by a group of migrants near Mount Washington. When Hotten didn’t answer his radio, his fellow agents began searching for him and eventually found him at about 4:15 p.m., Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal said at a Monday news conference.

The FBI is investigating, but Villareal said “it appears” Hotten had fallen on rugged terrain.

“When Agent Hotten was found unresponsive, it appears that he had fallen and may have hit his head on some rocks, but again at this stage we don’t know that was the cause of death,” Villareal said.

Responding agents provided first aid and performed CPR for about two hours before carrying him out of the mountainous terrain to be airlifted.

“Tucson Sector is grieving today and our condolences are with Agent Hotten’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time,” Villareal said in a news release. “Our agents are assigned a dangerous mission in keeping our nation safe, and they risk their lives every day in the line-of-duty. I cannot express the sadness we feel when we lose one of our own. Even as we grieve, we will continue to put service before self and honor first. I thank the brave men and women who take this risk in service to our country.”

Hotten joined the Border Patrol on Sept. 10, 2009. He is survived by his wife, son, mother and brother.


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