Border Pa­trol agent charged with mur­der of four fe­male sex work­ers

The Star Malaysia - - World -

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.

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