United States border agent Juan David Ortiz 'confesses to murders'

Law enforcement officers gather near where a body was found north of Laredo Tex

Law enforcement officers gather near where a body was found north of Laredo Tex

Alaniz didn't rule out prosecutors pursuing the death penalty for Ortiz, although he said it's too early to tell because the crime is still being investigated and evidence compiled.

Records say Mr Ortiz picked her up that night.

Ten days later, Ortiz said, he killed Claudine Ann Luera, 42, according to the affidavit.

If not for the would-be victim's quick thinking, a supervisory Border Patrol agent accused in a string of killings in and around the south Texas border town of Laredo might still be on the loose. About 1 a.m., state police found him at a gas station off San Bernardo Avenue and approached him.

Later, the two left in his white Dodge pickup truck and stopped at a gas station off the Texas 20 Loop, about 10 minutes from his home, where they again discussed Ramirez, police say. He fled and hid in the hotel parking lot where he was arrested.

Garza added that Ortiz "was going to try to commit suicide by cop" by brandishing his cellphone to look like a weapon, but was arrested without incident.

He reportedly served in the US Navy prior to joining the border agency. The Border Patrol often recruits servicemembers and gives hiring preference to eligible veterans. He's being held on $2.5 million bond on four counts of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and unlawful restraint.

Late Monday afternoon, investigators recounted the chilling details of how agent Juan David Ortiz, 35, lured and allegedly murdered four women.

According to NPR, all of the women, including a transgendered woman, are believed to be prostitutes.

Webb County district attorney Isidro Alaniz described the murders as a "horrific serial killing spree", according to local media reports.

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Carla L. Provost, the chief of Border Patrol, called Ortiz a "rogue individual" and not representative of the thousands of agents who work in the region.

"As law enforcement was looking for the killer. he would be reporting to work every day like normal", he said.

It all began with the discovery September 4 of the body of 29-year-old Melissa Ramirez. Like the other victims, Ramirez was shot in the head and left in a road in rural northwest Webb County. Ramirez was a mother of two young children, the Laredo Morning Times reported. "I want that guy to die in jail for taking the life of my daughter", Benavides said.

Ms Luera was found alive but died in hospital of her wounds. The fifth woman, Erika Pena, willingly went with Ortiz on Friday (September 14), and things started getting unsafe for her after she brought up another victim, Melissa Ramirez, who Ortiz has since admitted to killing. She told police she struggled with Ortiz inside his truck, where he pointed a pistol at her, but that she was able to flee.

Pena wrested herself from his grasp by pulling off her top and running shirtless to State Trooper Francisco Hernandez, who was fueling up at the gas station.

On Monday, authorities identified Ortiz's fourth victim as 28-year-old Humberto Ortiz, a transgender woman.

At least two of the victims were US citizens; the nationalities of the others were not known, Alaniz said.

Ortiz told investigators they would find the body behind gravel pits located off Interstate 35, according to the affidavit. It's unclear if there are any more victims, and the Webb County Sheriff's Office saying the investigation is ongoing. Now, said Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar, "the county, the city can rest assured we have the serial killer in custody".

Jail records don't list an attorney to speak for Ortiz, who had worked for Border Patrol for 10 years.

Ortiz is the second Border Patrol agent to be held for murder this year, after Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles was held on two counts of murder in April.

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