The death of an undocumented man whose body was found in a tractor-trailer
impounded by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents is being
investigated as a homicide by the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office,
Sheriff Urbino "Benny" Martinez said.
and Border protection agents impounded the tractor-trailer at the
Falfurrias checkpoint Oct. 3 after discovering an undocumented person in
the vehicle’s closet.
Martinez said no further investigation of the tractor-trailer was conducted at the time.
days later, agents contacted the sheriff’s office to investigate a
suspicious fluid coming from the rear compartment of the impounded
tractor-trailer, Martinez said. Sherriff’s office employees discovered
Martin Arellano Gomez’s body under the sleeping compartment of the
The 27-year-old’s decomposed body was pulled from the box, Martinez said.
The cause of death is being investigated by the Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office.
said the driver of the tractor-trailer could face a charge of
criminally negligent homicide or manslaughter. Martinez said the
investigation is being conducted in collaboration with Customs and
Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A. Díaz, southwest border branch chief for Customs and Border
Protection, declined to provide a statement on the matter. He said ICE
Homeland Security Investigations is leading the investigation into the
ICE is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.