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A Border Patrol agent was arrested early Saturday after allegedly killing four women — believed to have been prostitutes — and kidnapping a fifth, officials say.
Juan David Ortiz, an intel supervisor for the Border Patrol, was found about 2 a.m. when state troopers tracked him to a hotel parking lot in the border city of Laredo, Texas. He was found hiding in a truck.
Officials say they were alerted about the 35-year-old Ortiz after a fifth woman allegedly escaped from him and notified authorities.
Despite withholding information surrounding the killings, including the victims’ identities, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said investigators have “very strong evidence” that Ortiz is responsible for the deaths of the four women. Cuellar said investigators believe heacted alone.
Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said that the evidence suggests that “the manner in which they were killed is similar.” He said authorities are still trying to pinpoint a motive for the killings, but that all of the women worked as prostitutes.
“We do consider this to be a serial killer,” he said.
In a statement, Andrew Meehan, assistant commissioner for public affairs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said his agency is fully cooperating with all investigators.
“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,” Meehan said.
The district attorney’s office intends to charge Ortiz with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated kidnapping.