TUCSON, Ariz. — A Border Patrol agent died while on duty in Arizona Sunday night.
Border Patrol officials say fellow agents found 44-year-old Agent Robert Hotten unresponsive near Mount Washington, just south of Patagonia. He was eventually transported by helicopter to an ambulance, then to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The location of the incident puts Agent Hotten's death in the jurisdiction of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department. Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada says Agent Hotten was on foot patrol in a remote area near the Patagonia Mountains. Sheriff Estrada says there is no indication of foul play in Agent Hotten's death, though Roy Villareal, Tucson Sector Chief for the Border patrol says the investigation has been turned over to the FBI which has not ruled out foul play.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal said when fellow agents found Agent Hotten, they immediately began lifesaving efforts. Villareal said the remote location of the incident meant it took hours for first responders to arrive.
Agent Hotten served with the agency for 10 years and was assigned to the Sonoita station.
Chief Villareal released a statement on Agent Hotten's death:
"On behalf of the U.S. Border Patrol, Tucson Sector, I want to thank the responding agents and emergency response personnel who worked attentively to render aid and secure medical assistance. Our deepest sympathies are extended to Agent Robert M. Hotten’s family, friends, and colleagues. I ask that you keep Agent Hotten’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers."
Border Patrol will hold a news conference on Agent Hotten's death at 2:30 Monday afternoon. KGUN9 News will carry the news conference live on KGUN9's Facebook page.
Last night, we lost one of our own, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Hotten. Agent Hotten was found unresponsive while on patrol in AZ. Agent Hotten, Class 910, served for 10 years in USBP. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, son, loved ones, and colleagues. pic.twitter.com/yDDKOg6Pun— Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) October 7, 2019
This is a developing story. Stay with KGUN 9 for the latest updates.