Border Patrol Agent Stephen Clay Starch

Border Patrol Agent Stephen Clay Starch

United States Department of Justice - Immigration and Naturalization Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, June 14, 1997

Add to My Heroes

Stephen Clay Starch

Border Patrol Agent Stephen Starch died after he fell 150-feet into a ravine while tracking suspected illegal aliens in the Tecate Peak area in San Diego County, California.

After losing radio contact with him, other agents began a search of the area involving air support from the United States Customs Service and United States Coast Guard. Agent Starch was located at the bottom of the ravine along Cottonwood Creek with severe head trauma. Agents immediately began CPR but were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Agent Starch had served with the United States Border Patrol for two years and was assigned to the El Cajon Station. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Fall
  • Location California

illegal alien

Most Recent Reflection

View all 40 Reflections

I haven’t ever left a message here, but for those of you who have, I want you to know that your memories of my brother are appreciated by his family. Those of you who knew him personally remember that Stephen love deeply and cared about his brothers and sisters in the border patrol, as well as those individuals who were illegally attempting to come into our country. Stephen never lost sight of upholding the laws that protect the United States, but had great empathy for those who were only trying to make a better life for themselves. Those with ill intent to take advantage of others, or to bring illegal substances across the border were far easier to bring his full force against.

I continue to have significant peace about Stephen’s‘s place with his Savior, Jesus Christ in eternity. I look forward to seeing him again. As many of you know, he spent time in God‘s word the morning of his passing as he did every day.

Retired Border Patrol agent, Aric Curtis has been a great solace to us as well. He was with Stephen that day and continues to uphold his memory with the Border Patrol exceptionally well.

Peace and protection to all of you working to keep our country safe.

Sincerely, David Starch.

David Starch
Stephen’s brother

July 21, 2023

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.