TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Border Patrol agent assigned to the Tucson Sector Sonoita Station died after being found unresponsive on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal said the following day that Agent Robert Hotten, 44, responded to a sensor alert near Mount Washington south of Patagonia, Arizona. He said other agents found Hotten after they didn’t hear from him on the radio for a while.
The found him unresponsive, according to Villareal. He described the area as rugged, remote and difficult for fellow agents to help Hotten.
Agents performed CPR for hours and carried Hotten roughly a quarter of a mile to an area clear enough for a helicopter to land.
“It was an absolute heroic effort by our officers," said Villareal.
Hotten had been with the Border Patrol since September 2009. Villareal said early indications show he fell and hit his head, but Border Patrol, the F.B.I and the Pima County Medical Examiner are all investigating exactly what happened.
"At this stage we’re not sure if that was the cause of death or if there was something else, some other underlying effect,” he said.
Before Monday’s press conference, the agency shared the following statement:
“On behalf of the U.S. Border Patrol, Tucson Sector, I want to thank the responding agents and emergency response personnel who worked attentively to render aid and secure medical assistance,” Villareal shared in the statement. “Our deepest sympathies are extended to Agent Robert M. Hotten’s family, friends, and colleagues. I ask that you keep Agent Hotten’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”
Hotten is survived by a wife, son, mother and brother. Support services are available to his loved ones and fellow agents. This is the 14th line-of-duty death for Tucson Sector Border Patrol.