Laredo, Texas – A veteran US Border Patrol agent is accused of being a serial killer who shot dead four prostitutes in two weeks.
A fifth person is lucky to be alive after escaping a vehicle and seeking help from a cop at a gas station.
Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said the agent in custody is Juan David Ortiz, 35, who was an intelligence officer with USBP for ten years.
The murder spree occurred in the last 15 days. All victims were executed with a shot to the head.
“We feel that our efforts have gathered strong evidence against this killer. Our community is safe from this killer. This investigation continues,” the sheriff said.
“My condolences to the families of the 4 victims who were murdered within the past two weeks. I also want to let the public know that we have detained a suspect,” he said earlier in a statement posted on Facebook.
Isidro Alaniz, who is district attorney said: “Well with the first two murders there were some similarities, but obviously things began to become more clear as each murder took place.”
“The MO, the way the bodies were discarded, where the injuries were, and the types of people they were,” he added.
“Things started to match up that we did have a serial killer.”
Laredo jail records checked by Vancouverite show five murder charges but it’s not clear if he confessed to killing five or whether the booking sheet contains a clerical error.
Bail for each murder charge is set at $500,000.
He’s also charged with unlawful restraint and aggravated assault and evading arrest.
According to a local TV Station – Channel 5 – documents show the agent confessed to the murders and also pointed out the location of a transgender person he allegedly shot. All victims were driven out of town and shot in the back of the head.
The officer was captured after he fled from a Texas ranger at around 1 am on Sept. 15.
He hid in the parking garage of a local hotel. Two of the women killed were named as Melissa Ramirez, shot on Sept. 3; and Claudine Ann Luera, shot dead on Sept. 13.
Two other killings occurred occurred on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15. The victims have not been named.