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TERLINGUA 0 Crimes in the Sand by I A car withers to rust in Brewster County PHOTO BY SANDY CARSON DATELINE SEE a map of Terlingua Ranch at OST OF THE 300 OR SO CLUSTERED gravesites in the Terlingua Ghost Town cemetery are mounds of white rock rising from auburn dirt. Crosses nailed together from withered wooden boards stand askew, marking the plots. Remembrances of the deceased include Dia de los Muertos mementos and faded Lone Star beer cansa Western variant on pouring one out for the homies. The cemetery’s residents were mostly low-wage miners who dug massive sandy pits in search of long years since the mines closed, folks seeking an isolated existence among the craggy mountains of the Big Bend’s Chihuahuan Desert have come to rest in peace here as well. On Dec. 6, 2009, an 18-year-old student from Terlingua’s Big Bend High School may have come close to joining them. The trouble started at the Boathouse Bar, just up the dusty road from the cemetery. In statements to the Big Bend Gazette, Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson relayed allegations that two men the victim met inside the bar hit him over the back of the head in the parking lot, abducting and driving him, in his own car, deep into the cactus-laden desert. Indictments subsequently handed down by a Brewster County Grand Jury upon the capture of the accused perpetrators, Daniel Martinez, 46, and Kristopher Buchanan, 27, claim the teenager was held at knife point, made to “fear that death or serious bodily injury would be imminently inflicted,” and raped. The perpetrators then doused the victim’s car in gasoline, set it on fire, and forced him to call the Sheriff’s office in Alpine, 89 miles north of Terlingua, to report the vehicle as stolen. According to Dodson’s comments to the Big Bend Gazette, the attackers took the victim back to one 22 THE TEXAS OBSERVER WWW.TEXASOBSERVER.ORG