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The death of an Arizona rancher; Updated: Cattle growers’ association offers reward; new details of the murder; suspect foot tracks into Mexico

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 29, 2010 11:49 AM

Scroll for updates, reax…new details from the crime scene…

Rob Krentz was a Cochise County, AZ cattle farmer who had battled the bloody consequences of illegal immigration for years. Over the weekend, his dead body was found on his ranch. The longtime rancher had been gunned down. Police are investigating the homicide.

The Arizona Star reports:

A longtime rancher was killed on his Douglas-area property over the weekend, and neighbors worried that his homicide was connected to increasing border-related crime in the area.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office offered little information into the late-Saturday shooting death of 58-year-old Robert Krentz, whose family began the Krentz Ranch more than 100 years ago.

Krentz’s body was found on his land, which is about 35 miles northeast of Douglas, just before midnight Saturday, said Carol Capas, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office, aided by the U.S. Border Patrol, had no suspects Sunday and continued to follow leads, Capas said. She declined to comment on reports from neighbors and border activists that Krentz’s death was related to smuggling in the area.

Area residents said Krentz had no enemies, and they could think of no motive for his death other than the possibility it was related to what they called the growing level of crime in the area related to illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.

Tom Tancredo, a former U.S. representative from Colorado, was visiting ranchers near Douglas to discuss border issues when he heard of Krentz’s death.

Tancredo said he and Krentz were friends and that he was “a mild-mannered guy” who was known for providing illegal immigrants with food and water.

Digger’s Realm has more. R.I.P.

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The Tuscon Weekly adds:

The event has rocked the towns of Douglas and Portal, and the ranches in between, both of which have been under siege by cross-border smugglers for years.

As the Weekly has reported, the situation in the so-called Chiricahua Corridor has deteriorated lately, leaving residents fearful that an episode of this kind was inevitable. The grief is great for the Krentz family and their many friends throughout Southeast Arizona; Krentzes have been ranching in Cochise County for more than a century.

The Weekly has received word that a representative for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has placed calls to Cochise County, trying to set up a community meeting, either Monday or Tuesday at 11 a.m., possibly at the Apache School. The Giffords’ rep making the arrangements said it is possible she will ask the president to place military units in the besieged area

A source tells the Weekly the practical impact of Giffords’ actions might be small, but at least she is paying attention. The source said, “Kolbe laughed at us when we complained, and McCain worries about getting his patent leather shoes dirty when he’s down here.”

Related: The slaughter on the southern border – March 17, 2010

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John McCain and his open-borders, Soros-funded advisor Juan Hernandez have no comment yet.

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Reader Billie e-mails:

Michelle,

I want to thank you for posting the story about rancher Bob Krentz. You are the only credible source outside the local news that has mentioned it. As a ranching wife, my heart goes out to Bob’s family and especially his wife Susan. No one outside the ranching community knows how hard a life this is ( in terms of physical work never being done). To those of us who love it, the price is well worth the benefits. But not for Susan Krentz. I cannot imagine what she must feel, knowing they have been robbed before, vandalized and terrorized.

While Obama and his minions wax poetic about health care ( and the so called threats of not having it) there is a hardworking woman who has been pulling her own weight for decades that now faces her golden years without her beloved husband and without any security for the future of her children or herself on the ranch they love.

Ranching families work hard as teams to get everything done to care for their animals. They are usually short on help considering all that needs to be done. I hope that Susan’s loss of her husband, her partner in the business and the head of a multi generational legacy is not lost in the reporting. Her life is forever changed and helping her find a sense of peace and sanity is what we all need to think about.

Billie R.
Chico, CA

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Update: Just received this statement from the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association…

ACGA Alert

March 28, 2010

Phoenix, AZ – The thoughts and prayers of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association are with the family of Sue and Rob Krentz. Rob’s tragic death truly leaves a hole in the community and his family. Everyone in Arizona’s ranching community will be saddened to hear of this tragedy.

Rob Krentz was a caretaker – he cared for his family, he cared for the land and he cared for the animals he and his family raised on the Krentz Ranch. These traits have been passed down through the Krentz family from one generation to the next. This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sue and their children.

Rob and his dog were found shot early this morning after he left on his four-wheeler late yesterday to check fence on his ranch. While reports of this tragedy and investigation advance the ACGA is prepared to assist in gathering facts about the incident with the offer of a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of individuals involved in the tragic shooting of Rob Krentz.

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Update: New details from the Arizona Republic about the crime…

A prominent southeast Arizona rancher sped away in his all-terrain vehicle after being shot, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said Monday in releasing more details into Saturday’s slaying near the Mexico border.

The body of Robert Krentz, 58, was located before midnight Saturday on his 35,000 acre ranch about 35 miles northeast of Douglas after his brother reported that he had lost radio contact with Krentz earlier in the day.

Krentz apparently came upon one person when he was shot and his dog was wounded, detectives said.

While Krentz was still in his vehicle, mortally wounded, he managed to drive the ATV away from the scene at a high rate of speed before becoming unconscious, investigators said.

Foot tracks were identified and followed approximately 20 miles south to the Mexico border by sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Border Patrol trackers and Department of Corrections dog chase teams, authorities said.

So far, there have been no suspects identified and no arrests.

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Homeland security? What homeland security?

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