Police: Texas Border Agent Confessed to 4 Murders
A U.S. Border Patrol supervisor has reportedly confessed to four murders after a potential fifth victim escaped.
The Texas Tribune reports that Intel supervisor Juan David Ortiz was arrested Saturday after fleeing from authorities. He was found hiding in a pickup truck outside of a hotel in Laredo.
Webb County-Zapata County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz told the Tribune Ortiz is responsible for the deaths of at least four people since September 3, all of them sex workers. Two have been confirmed as U.S. citizens, while the nationalities of the other two have not yet been determined.
Alaniz said a potential fifth victim - Erika Pena - escaped from Ortiz and alerted authorities. She reportedly went with Ortiz willingly but fled from him at a gas station early Saturday morning when things became dangerous. She ran into a trooper at the station and alerted him to the situation, after which a search ensued and Ortiz was later captured.
The Associated Press reports that Ortiz “provided a voluntary verbal confession” Saturday morning. He's been charged with four counts of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and unlawful restraint. He remained jailed Monday in lieu of $2.5 million bond.
The first victim, 29-year-old Melissa Ramirez, was discovered in rural northwest Webb County on September 4. The AP reports that Ortiz confessed to killing the woman a day earlier by shooting her in the head. The other victims were killed in the same fashion. One - 42-year-old Claudine Anne Luera - was found alive, but later passed away at a nearby hospital. The identities of the other two victims have not been released.