Larry Link, the former owner of a ghost town tourist attraction, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports, was found dead early June 7 near his car by a family member.
If an illegal did kill Link, it would be second such murder within about the last 15 months. An illegal alien still at large is thought to have murdered Robert Krentz at his cattle ranch northeast of Douglas, Arizona.
Drug Smuggling Played a Role?
Police have not verified a report that an illegal alien murdered Link, but a county commissioner said that it is a likely possibility. Ed Kerr told the paper that he found a significant quantity of dope on his ranch and that smuggling has increased.
"Last summer in August, I found five bundles of marijuana on my ranch land about 50 feet from the freeway. That can't be more than eight or 10 miles from Larry's." he said. "They were scattered about. One was under the billboard, one was beside the fence. Illegals with empty backpacks had dropped their load. I-10 is, obviously, a connecting point. We're getting a lot of traffic, more than what we've seen in the past couple of years. They have ultra-light planes flying out of Mexico and dropping off bundles and then illegals walking and picking them up."
Three years ago, Kerr said, he found seven undocumented immigrants hiding in a culvert on his land off of Highway 338.
The Murder of Robert Krentz
Residents of Douglas, Arizona, received a similar shocking blow last year when Robert Krentz was found dead on his ranch. An illegal alien and/or drug smuggler almost certainly murdered Krentz, according to news reports.
Former Rep. Tom Tancredo, along with Chris Simcox, co-founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, told the Arizona Daily Star that Krentz was helping an illegal when he was killed. The pair reported that “Krentz phoned a family member Saturday afternoon to say he was out near his watering hole, providing one or more illegal immigrants with aid.”
Krentz freely helped illegals looking for water when they came on his property. According to the Star, Krentz didn’t retaliate for the burglaries at his ranch by permitting illegals to die of thirst.
In a 1999 PBS interview, Robert Krentz and his wife, Susan, said illegal immigrants once stole property from their ranch, but that incident didn't stop him from aiding other trespassers.
"You know, we've personally been broke in once. And they took about $700 worth of stuff. And you know, if they come in and ask for water, I'll still give them water. I, you know, that's just my nature," Krentz was quoted as saying in written transcripts of the interview.
A fellow rancher told Fox News that Krentz was likely shot when he was about to call the Border Patrol. "I think Rob came to help this guy, and the moment he put that telephone to his ear, he was shot," said rancher Richard Humphries, who lives in nearby Elfrida. "It's happened to me. They don't want you to call the border patrol."
Another possiblity is that drug-smuggling Mexicans murdered Krentz in retaliation for the arrests of eight of their number at his ranch the day before.
According to the Star, Krentz was murdered just a day after his brother told authorities about drug smuggling, a phone call that netted 290 pounds of marijuana and eight smugglers at Krentz’s ranch.
Fox News reported that authorities have suggested two other theories.
One, a drug cartel scout. The Chirachua mountains in southeast Arizona are 11,000 feet tall, rugged and remote. It is a popular drug corridor and the killer may have been clearing the way for a load of drugs moving north when Krentz surprised him.
Two, the suspect belonged to a band of thieves terrorizing the remote ranches scattered around the area — an idea supported by other ranchers.
"Two days earlier a 9mm and a 9mm Glock had been stolen from a home in Portal," said rancher Roger Barnett. "There is no way to know for sure it was the murder weapon. But the bullet the killed Rob and his dog was a 9mm."
Roger Barnett is the rancher fighting an order to pay $87,000 to a pack of border jumpers he detained on his ranch.
Dever, the Cochise County sheriff, told the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was wrong to claim the border is “more secure than it has ever been.”
Photo: AP Images