Given Mr. Krentz’s radio transmission, the footprints and heavy drug and illegal immigrant trafficking in that area, investigators are working on the assumption that he encountered a smuggler, possibly heading back to Mexico.
“You never know who you’re dealing with out here because you get all kinds of traffic through here,” said William McDonald, a fellow rancher on the vast mesquite scrubland pocked with canyons and scattered mountain ranges floating on the horizon like islands.
Mr. McDonald and other residents said that in the last year or two the traffic had taken a more sinister turn, with larger numbers of drug smugglers, many clad in black and led by armed scouts.
“It was only a matter of time,” he said. “Everything was in place for something like this to happen.”
Sheriff Larry A. Dever of Cochise County said if it was related to smuggling, it would be the first such killing of a rancher in more than three decades. But as local, state and federal investigators pore over the case, no motive has been ruled out, Sheriff Dever said.
Mr. Krentz’s family, in a statement last week, said they had little doubt that the killing was related to smuggling. They went on to vent frustration at what they said was a lack of concern by federal leaders.
“We hold no malice towards the Mexican people for this senseless act but do hold the political forces in this country and Mexico accountable for what has happened,” the family said. “Their disregard of our repeated pleas and warnings of impending violence towards our community fell on deaf ears shrouded in political correctness. As a result, we have paid the ultimate price for their negligence in credibly securing our borderlands.”
Reader Billie e-mails along more info via Arizona native Caren Cowen, now director of New Mexico Cattlemen:
A rosary will be held for Rob Krentz at St. Luke’s Catholic Church, 211 E. 15th St., Douglas, Arizona, on Friday, April 9th, at 6:00 pm. A memorial service will be held at Douglas High School Gym, 1550 East 15th St on Saturday April 10th at 10:00 am. A reception will follow at the Gadsden Hotel, 1046 G Avenue in Douglas.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the “Rob Krentz Memorial Fund,” The Cowbelles – c/o Carol Riggs, 4466 N. Brooks Road, Douglas, Arizona 85608.
Cards to may be sent to: Krentz Family, PO Box 3592, Douglas, Arizona 85607
A Robert Krentz Memorial Fund has been established at Wells Fargo Bank to aid the family. Anyone that would like to donate to this fund may do so at any Wells Fargo using the following account number: 5560960899. A calf donated by Sunny Shores will be auctioned and re-auctioned at the Willcox Livestock Auction April 8, with proceeds to the Memorial Fund.
As I noted last month, the Arizona Cattle Growers Association is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murder of Rob Krentz and is collecting contributions and pledges to supplement the ACGA’s own contribution to the fund of $5,000. The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association is contributing $1,000 to this fund. ICE/DHS are also offering a $25,000 reward.
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