Border Patrol agent charged with murder of four female sex workers
HOUSTON: Texas authorities charged a US Border Patrol supervisor with murder following what they called a twoweek serial killing spree that left four female sex workers dead and ended when a fifth woman escaped at a gas station and found help.
Juan David Ortiz, 35, an intel supervisor for the Border Patrol, was charged with four counts of murder as well as aggravated assault and unlawful restraint, Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said in a tweet.
Ortiz was arrested after the fifth woman managed to flee. State troopers found Ortiz hiding in a truck in a hotel parking lot in Laredo at around 2am on Saturday. The border city about 235km southwest of San Antonio.
“We do consider this to be a serial killer,” Alaniz said.
Alaniz said that after the suspect picked up the fifth woman she quickly realised she was in danger.
“When she tried to escape from him at a gas station that’s when she ran into a (state) trooper,” Alaniz said.
He said that authorities believe Ortiz had killed all four women since Sept 3. The names of the victims were not immediately released.
Alaniz said two of them were US citizens but the nationalities of the other two were not yet known.
All of them were working as prostitutes and one was a transgender woman, he said.
“The manner in which they were killed is similar in all the cases from the evidence,” said Alaniz.
He declined to discuss the evidence or say how the women were killed.
Authorities said they believe Ortiz acted alone.
“It’s interesting that he would be observing and watching as law enforcement was looking for the killer, that he would be reporting to work daily like normal,” Alaniz said.
Ortiz was a 10year veteran of the Border Patrol. US Customs and Border Protection issued a statement saying it was fully cooperating with the investigation.
“Our sincerest condolences go out to the victims’ family and friends.
“While it is CBP policy to not comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, criminal action by our employees is not, and will not be tolerated,” the agency said.