What We Know About The Texas "Serial Killer" Border Patrol Agent
Police are still working to determine a motive — but have stated that they believe that Juan Ortiz was working alone.
LAREDO, TX — Police in Texas have arrested a U.S. Border Patrol supervisor suspected of killing at least four women and injuring a fifth victim, who managed to escape during an attempted abduction.
Juan David Ortiz, 35, was arrested on Sunday in Laredo and is being held on four counts of murder along with charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful restraint, according to Webb County jail records.
Police found Ortiz hiding in a truck in a hotel parking lot in Laredo at around 2 A.M. on Saturday after what police described as a 10-day string of violence, according to CBS News. Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said Saturday that investigators "consider this to be a serial killer."
Alaniz said that Ortiz, a Customs and Border Patrol intel supervisor, reported to work as usual during the string of killings and gave investigators no hint that he was living a double life. "As law enforcement was looking for the killer ... he would be reporting to work every day like normal," he said.
On September 4, the body of 29-year-old Melissa Ramirez was found. The mother of two had been shot in the head and left in a road in rural northwest Webb County. According to a police affidavit, Ortiz stated that he had killed Ramirez a day earlier.
Claudine Anne Luera, 42, was found shot and left in the road on Thursday morning. She later died in the hospital, according to the affidavit.
On Friday, Ortiz picked up Erika Pena. She later told police that they struggled inside his truck and that he pulled a gun on her, but said she was able to break free. She ran to a gas station and found a state trooper to help her.
According to the affidavit, Ortiz told investigators that his violence did not end there. After Pena fled, he reportedly killed another two victims, whose identities have not yet been released by authorities.
Alaniz said the dead are believed to have been prostitutes and that one of them was a transgender woman.
The investigation is ongoing, and police are still working to determine a motive — but have stated that they believe that Ortiz was working alone.
The federal agency issued a statement offering its "sincerest condolences" to the victims' families and saying criminal activity by its employees is not tolerated.