Border Agent Found Dead After Brutal Alleged Crime

Esteban Manzanares allegedly raped female immigrants, kidnapped one
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2014 9:50 AM CDT
Border Agent Found Dead After Brutal Alleged Crime
In this Oct. 2, 1012 file photo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and other law enforcement jurisdictions drive the roads near near Bisbee, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)

Esteban Manzanares was patrolling near the Texas-Mexico border when he came across a woman and two girls— Honduran nationals suspected of entering the US illegally. What allegedly happened next is horrific: Officials say the border agent raped the woman and slashed her wrists, then assaulted her daughter, 14, and tried to break the girl's neck, investigators tell the McAllen Monitor and the San Antonio Express-News. The woman and one teen were able to escape. Manzanares kidnapped the third victim and took her to his home in Mission, a small town some 350 miles from Houston, police allege. When the woman came across authorities, she told them a man in a green uniform had her child.

Law enforcement officials tell the Monitor that Manzanares, divorced as of January and with the patrol since 2008, tied up the girl, put a sock in her mouth, then went back to finish his shift. He returned and allegedly raped her, then killed himself with a single gunshot heard by agents who had just arrived outside the home, according to the FBI. The victim was found inside, still tied up but alive. "We believe he is the person responsible for the kidnappings and the assault of all three of them," an FBI rep told the AP. "You would never think he'd do something like this," said a neighbor. His ex-wife and the mother of his two kids, meanwhile, denies the divorce was a factor. "He was still the same person," she said. "He wanted the divorce so I don’t know why it would affect him." The victims were being treated in a hospital yesterday and are expected to survive. (More US-Mexico border stories.)

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