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Border Patrol Agent Eric Cabral died last week while patrolling an area of rural East San Diego County, the Border Patrol announced today.

Cabral was tracking a group of suspected illegal immigrants north of Interstate 8 near Jacumba when he got separated from his partner and lost radio contact, according to a Customs and Border Patrol press release.

After Cabral lost contact, a search was instigated, said a Border Patrol spokeswoman. Cabral was found by an agent near the De Anza Springs Resort. He was unresponsive and was airlifted to a local hospital where he died.

The spokeswoman said Cabral probably died from heatstroke. She said it was extremely hot the day he died and that Cabral had been trekking in the desert for several hours. That’s not unusual, she said, as border patrol agents in rural areas of San Diego County often have to spend hours tracking and following suspected illegal immigrants on foot.

Though the spokeswoman said the department has not yet received a final forensics report on the death, she said there was no indication that Cabral had been attacked and that there was no suspicion of foul play.

Cabral had been with the border patrol since September 26, 2005.

Here’s a quote from the press release:

San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Michael Fisher expressed his condolences to family, friends, and co-workers of Agent Cabral. Chief Fisher commented, “Agent Cabral lost his life serving and protecting the Nation, and on-behalf of the Border Patrol, we send our sincerest thoughts and prayers to his family during this difficult period.”

WILL CARLESS

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