A heavily redacted sheriff’s report released Tuesday reveals almost no new details about the March slaying of an Arizona cattle rancher that later became a rallying cry for increased border enforcement.
According to earlier reports from authorities and neighbors, Robert Krentz and his dog were gunned down on his property near the Mexico border shortly after he reported spotting someone who appeared to be in trouble
The Cochise County sheriff’s report released Tuesday said Krentz’s all-terrain vehicle was still running and his wounded dog was still was trying to defend him when authorities found his body March 27 in the remote area of his sprawling 35,000-acre ranch northeast of Douglas. The dog later died.
Krentz, 58, had been on his ATV checking water lines and fencing when he was shot. Neighbors and law enforcement officials later followed tracks apparently belonging to the killer 20 miles south into Mexico.
Sheriff’s officials have said they believe Krentz was slain by an illegal immigrant who was headed to Mexico and worked as a scout for drug smugglers. But they won’t identify any possible suspects and say the investigation is continuing.
The sheriff’s report also contains a timeline of Krentz’s last day. It says he called his brother around 10 a.m. reporting he was with an immigrant who needed help, the last time anyone heard from him.
Krentz’s wife reported him missing at 6:45 p.m., and authorities found his body about five hours later.
An autopsy report released last week showed Krentz had been shot multiple times but revealed little else. It also was heavily redacted.
Krentz’s killing became a flash point in the immigration debate. A month after the killing, Arizona lawmakers passed the nation’s toughest legislation targeting illegal immigration. The law, which goes into effect July 29, requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the country illegally.
The Arizona immigration law faces multiple legal challenges and the U.S. Justice Department is reviewing it for possible civil rights violations, with an eye toward a possible court challenge.