US Border Patrol agent arrested in connection with 4 killings, kidnapping

Pauline Gross
September 16, 2018

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was arrested Saturday on suspicion of killing four prostitutes and attempting to kidnap another victim. While charges against him had not yet been filed as of late Saturday, Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said that investigators had reason to believe that it was Ortiz who killed three women and one man whose bodies were discovered near rural roads in unpopulated areas of Webb County over the past two weeks.

The bodies of two women were found earlier in the week, and another two were found early Saturday morning.

Juan David Ortiz, 35, was arrested on Saturday in Laredo, Texas, after he allegedly attempted to abduct a fifth woman, the Webb County Sheriff's Office said.

"Apparently the suspect pulled out a gun on her and she was able to escape", Webb County Sheriff Martin Cueller said. They also said Ortiz is believed to have been working alone.

Two of his victims were identified on Saturday by local news sources.

Cuellar said investigators have "very strong evidence" that Ortiz is responsible for the deaths of the four women.

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"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 every day like normal", Mr Alaniz said.

The second was Claudine Luera, 42, who was found alive but in critical condition on Thursday on Texas Highway 255, according to the New York Times. At this time, officials said they do not expect to find any additional bodies. The other victims' identities have not yet been released.

In a statement, Andrew Meehan, assistant commissioner for public affairs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said his agency's Office of Professional Responsibility, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General are fully cooperating with all investigators.

Ortiz has worked for the Border Patrol for 10 years, according to the sheriff's office.

The Texas Rangers, along with the Webb County Sheriff's office, launched an investigation after Melissa Ramirez, 29, a mother of two, was found slain September 4.

Ortiz was approached by police at approximately 2 a.m. Saturday and initially fled troopers.

Other reports by GizPress

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