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Criminal Investigator Manuel Zurita, VII | United States Department of the Treasury - Customs Service - Office of Investigations, U.S. Government United States Department of the Treasury - Customs Service - Office of Investigations, U.S. Government

Criminal Investigator

Manuel Zurita, VII

United States Department of the Treasury - Customs Service - Office of Investigations, U.S. Government

End of Watch: Tuesday, January 6, 1998

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 46

Tour: 12 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Boating accident

Location: Virgin Islands

Incident Date: 1/1/1998

Weapon: Not available

Suspect: Not available

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Investigator Manuel Zurita died on January 6, 1998, from injuries he sustained in a boating accident on January 1, 1998, while assisting the United States Secret Service with a presidential protection detail for President William Clinton.

He and two other customs agents were securing the waters to assure a safe landing for Air Force One when their boat hit a coral reef outside of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Investigator Zurita was air-lifted with massive injuries to a hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he later died of his injuries. The two other agents were seriously injured in the accident.

Investigator Zurita had served with the Customs Service for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and four children.

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At the United States Border Patrol Academy, Manuel Zurita VII was my roommate, a man and friend who dedicated himself like no other to his studies and one who helped both me and other classmates who shared our dorm very much in the process. I remember him as super-intelligent with a heart of gold. Today while I had thoughts of finding him just to say hello, it was sad to find that he gave his life in the service of others.

Senior Border Patrol Agent George Abel
USBP class 178PI GLYNCO, Georgia 1985
November 19, 2014

 

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