Texas authorities have arrested a Border Patrol agent they say is responsible for a string of recent murders in southern Texas.
What are the details?
Juan David Ortiz, an intel supervisor for the Border Patrol, was apprehended early Saturday morning. He is accused of murdering four women and kidnapping another, according to WGNS-TV. He has reportedly confessed to the crimes.
The arrest culminates a two-week investigation that began after two women were found murdered in Webb County. Police were alerted to a third body Saturday morning and then a fourth around noon on Saturday along I-35 outside Laredo. All of the victims were prostitutes, officials said.
Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said authorities were able to capture Ortiz after the kidnapped women escaped and identified him to police. Texas state troopers reportedly tracked Ortiz to a hotel parking lot in the border city of Laredo, where they discovered him hiding inside a truck.
“We have probable cause to believe that he is responsible for this series of murders, which I would qualify as a serial murderer,” Alaniz told reporters at a news conference, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Alaniz did not divulge additional details, according to CNN, but said the “methods and means” of each murder was similar. He said authorities believe Ortiz was “profiling” and “hunting” certain types of victims.
Police said the are not sure if there are additional bodies. They believe Ortiz acted alone.
Ortiz is charged with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated kidnapping. He is a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol.
What did the Border Patrol say?
Andrew Meehan, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said the government is fully cooperating with local Texas authorities.
“Our sincerest condolences go out to the victims’ family and friends,” Meehan said.
“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. Out of respect to the victims’ family and friends, we ask that deference and due process be given to the investigation so that all the facts are brought to light and they can receive the closure they deserve,” he added.