Police say a woman who escaped from an accused serial killer in Laredo, Texas, likely saved lives. Authorities were still piecing together the details of the case of veteran Border Patrol agent Juan David Ortiz, who allegedly killed four people and attempted to kidnap a fifth before his arrest over the weekend. The woman who escaped, a sex worker, told police that Ortiz, 35, picked her up on the street and took her to his home, reports the Corpus Christi Caller Times. She said he began acting "weird" when she kept talking about the recent murder of two other sex workers, one of them a friend. They left his home, and the woman, by now afraid for her life, made a break for it at a gas station, according to the police affidavit. Ortiz allegedly pulled a gun on her in his pickup truck, and she leaped out of the vehicle as he tried to grab her shirt.
She then ran to a trooper at the gas station. Police arrested Ortiz hours later, at 2:30am, in a hotel parking lot, but they say he had killed two more women, also sex workers, in the interim, reports the Washington Post. One of the latter victims was transgender. Ortiz reportedly told investigators that he shot his first victim by the side of the road on Sept. 3 after a sexual encounter and the second after she accused him of being the last person to see the first victim alive. "This guy is cold," says Webb County-Zapata County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz. Ortiz is a 10-year veteran of the US Customs and Border Protection, and authorities say he committed the murders while off duty. He is being held on $2.5 million bond. "It's not a big city like San Antonio, Houston, where you see that a lot," says one Laredo resident of the killing spree. (Read more serial killer stories.)