LAREDO – A U.S. Border Patrol agent is suspected of being a serial killer after he was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping in rural Webb County, Texas, authorities announced Saturday.
Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said at a news conference that Juan David Ortiz was booked Saturday morning after a woman he allegedly attempted to kidnap Friday escaped and went to law enforcement. He said authorities believe Ortiz is behind the murder of four women in a nearly two-week span.
“We have very strong evidence that he is the person that’s been killing,” the sheriff said.
Starting nearly two weeks ago, local investigators were trying to find a killer of women whose bodies were found in the border county that abuts the Rio Grande.
A woman described by authorities as a “second victim” was found Thursday “with head trauma injury” off state highway 255, according to a statement from Texas Rangers. She was identified as Claudine Anne Luera, 42, of Laredo, Texas.
A third body was found Saturday morning, then a fourth was found just after noon along the a highway north of Laredo, NBC News affiliate KGNS reported.
The women were sex workers whom the agent had allegedly “picked up,” KGNS reported, citing Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz. Officials don’t believe there are other victims.
It’s not clear if they think the suspect was on-duty at the time of the alleged killings.
Read more here: Border Patrol Agent suspected in Texas serial murder case