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Border & immigration

Star: Krentz murder suspect being sought in U.S.

Sources say killing was not random

The killing of rancher Robert Krentz was not random, and investigators are focusing on a suspect in the U.S., the Arizona Daily Star reports, citing anonymous sources.

"High-ranking government officials with credible information," in the morning daily's phrasing, say Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever is investigating a person in the U.S., not in Mexico, in connection with the March 27 shooting of Krentz.

Dever would not comment on the story.

The Star reports that their sources spoke because of "a desire to quell the fury over illegal immigration and drug smuggling" resulting from Krentz's death.

An early version of the Star story said that authorities were looking for an "American" suspect. The paper says an editing error changed the story, which was headlined "American is focus in Krentz killing."

The Associated Press, quoting an anonymous source, reports that the suspect is a "Mexican man who was recently in the United States."

"It's not known whether the suspect is still in the United States...the person who killed rancher Robert Krentz wasn't believed to be a U.S. citizen," said the news service.

Krentz was found shot to death on his Douglas-area ranch one day after a report by his brother resulted in the arrest of eight people and seizure of 290 pounds of marijuana.

Investigators followed a set of footprints through the desert to the border, leading many to infer that Krentz was killed by a Mexican smuggler or illegal immigrant.

Krentz's death was often cited in the debate leading to the passage of Arizona's strict new anti-illegal immigration law, SB1070 and HB2162.

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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Arizona Farming & Ranching Hall of Fame

Krentz in 2008.

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Arizona Daily Star: Focus in Krentz killing on suspect in US