Rancher's killer believed to have fled to MexicoPosted: Updated:
The shooting death of rancher Rob Krentz in Cochise County is believed to be the work of an illegal immigrant. That's according to investigators working the case who say Krentz tried to flee the scene.
Now this incident has federal lawmakers saying the stakes along the border are "much higher."
On his 35,000 acre ranch about 35 miles northeast of Douglas 58-year-old Robert Krentz was found dead Saturday night.
Investigators say they believe an illegal immigrant shot Krentz because he was overheard on the radio earlier Saturday saying to his brother "illegal immigrant" and "hurt." That was the last contact before law enforcement found him dead in his ATV later that night.
Search teams tracked footprints 20 miles south to the U.S./ Mexico border, but don't have any suspects.
An event congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords says only adds to people's fears with the increased violence south of the border, "an incident of this kind i really believe is a tipping point, not just for Cochise County but for all residents along the U.S./Mexico border."
Investigators say there was no evidence to suggest a confrontation led to the shooting, but Giffords is calling for a strong response if the incident was drug related, "We have been yelling for more resources, more foot patrol, more horse patrol, of course redeploying the national guard and putting them back on the border."
Jennifer Allen of the Border Action Network, however, says people should wait until more facts come out, "We would be concerned about efforts to immediately call for national guard troops or increased patrol agents presence in the area without really first assessing and understanding what the facts of the matter were."
Investigators did say the area where Krentz was murdered is heavily trafficked by drug smugglers, but at this point, they have no motive.