In Memory

Murderous marauders are but some of the dangers the men and women guarding our borders must contend with.  Two years ago yesterday, 26JUL07  United States Border Patrol Agent Eric Cabral died of heat stroke in the area close to Jacumba.

"Seismic sensors alerted Cabral and a colleague around 9 a.m. to a group of suspected illegal immigrants near Jacumba, a hamlet 60 miles east of San Diego that is surrounded by boulders, cactus, manzanita trees and sage brush.

Working from separate vehicles, the agents walked alone carrying heavy gear in areas without roads and kept in touch by radio, said Richard Smith, a Border Patrol spokesman. The pair abandoned the pursuit after seven hours. They met briefly, and headed separately back toward their cars.

When Cabral never showed up at a roadside meeting point, another agent who was assigned to pick him up launched a search, Smith said. Cabral was found unresponsive, with a cut on his forehead and water in his canteen. He was flown to a hospital, where he died less than three hours after his partner last saw him in apparently good shape.

Agents often walk the border solo, looking for broken twigs, footprints, overturned pebbles and other clues. They are aided by ground sensors and communicate with colleagues by radio."

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