CULBERSON COUNTY, Texas - What happened to a couple of Border Patrol agents in the West Texas desert?
"It can happen anywhere," Van Horn resident Adrian Gilmore concluded. "But it's absolutely terrifying."
Authorities say 36-year-old agent-- Rogelio Martinez-- died at a hospital after suffering severe injuries apparently from rocks, while his partner remains hospitalized.
"We lost a border patrol officer," President Trump announced at the White House. "And another one was brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt."
Union officials claim the agents were ambushed likely by drug traffickers, which they say are prevalent in the area.
"Well, this is a small community," Gilmore said. "You don't think about this happening next door. You think about this happening somewhere else."
But Martinez's partner-- still in serious condition-- has no memory of what occurred.
And some say the agents could have just fallen and been injured in an accident....though that seems unlikely since the agents were responding to an active alarm sensor in a remote area along Interstate 10.
Authorities say the agents radioed for backup, saying that humans had caused the sensor blip.
Responding Border Patrol agents then found the two agents with serious head injuries.
"He was such a good guy, man. He was, it was unfortunate. It's unfortunate," life-long friend of Martinez, Emory Crawford, shared. "He's gonna be missed by a lot of people."
The FBI is vigorously investigating the case, now offering a $20,000 reward.
"To hear about something like an attack on officers, we want to make sure that we can do whatever we can to help," Gilmore added.
Perhaps somewhere in this barren desert is the key to solving this mystery.