About 30 relatives have traveled from Utah, home state of slain Border Patrol agent Nick Ivie and his widow Christy, to help the family, Ivie's brother said today.
Chris Ivie and his brother Rick, two of Nick's four surviving siblings, spoke at a press conference at Cochise College in Sierra Vista today. Nick was the youngest of the four brothers and one sister, Chris said.
Recalling Nick's Mormon mission to Mexico City and his work as a volunteer firefighter and paramedic in Utah, Rick said, "He lived his life as a life of service."
He also followed his brother into law law enforcement. Joel Ivie joined the Border Patrol in 2003 and sometimes worked with Nick. Joel attended the press conference but did not speak due to his position with the agency.
"We have a large family, a large extended family as well, and they've been a great support," Rick Ivie said.
Chris Ivie added, "The hardest part is going to be when this all settles down and everyone goes away."
Nick Ivie was an active, loving father to his two daughters, Chris said. He had a bicycle with two trailers for the girls, ages 4 and 1.
"Nick loved his kids, and it's difficult when they ask for their dad and you can't explain it that well," Chris said.
Separately Thursday, a Mexican law-enforcement official confirmed Mexican authorities have in custody two men who could be connected with the Ivie's killing.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said it remained unclear if there was strong evidence linking the men to the shooting of Ivie and a colleague. Another agent was wounded in the attack.
Radio Sonora reported Thursday that the two are young men from Agua Prieta, sister city of Douglas, who were arrested by the Mexican army about 5 miles south of the shooting scene in Mexico early Tuesday. They had a gun and 10 kilograms of marijuana, and they're being held now by Mexican federal police in Hermosillo, the radio network is reporting.
However, it's unclear whether their presence in the vicinity of the shooting was coincidental, Radio Sonora reported.
Ivie and two other agents were fired upon in a rugged hilly area about five miles north of the border as they responded to an alarm that was triggered on one of the sensors that the government has installed along the border.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.