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Border Patrol Agent Wanted to 'Eradicate All Prostitutes': Cops

Juan David Ortiz befriended sex workers before murders, say authorities
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2018 8:00 AM CDT
Juan David Ortiz, a US Border Patrol supervisor who was jailed Sunday on a $2.5 million bond in Texas, accused in the killing of at least four women.   (Webb County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
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(Newser) – A Border Patrol agent accused of killing four women over 12 days wanted "to eradicate all the prostitutes," authorities in Laredo, Texas, tell USA Today, and they're not ruling out the possibility of more victims. The bodies of two women had already been found when 35-year-old Juan David Ortiz arrived at a gas station with a third woman around 9pm Friday. She ran to a state trooper for help, while Ortiz took off. He's alleged to have killed two more women before authorities found him at another gas station around 1am Saturday, per CNN. Ortiz ran to a hotel parking garage and tried to use his phone to suggest he had a weapon, but was arrested without incident, says Federico Garza of the Webb County Sheriff’s Office, per the New York Times. Authorities say Ortiz may have used his service weapon to kill the "vulnerable" women—all US citizens—with drug or alcohol problems or ties to prostitution.

Ortiz allegedly befriended sex workers before shooting them each in the head. The killing spree began Sept. 3 with the fatal shooting of Melissa Ramirez, 29, found near Texas Highway 255 in northern Laredo. Last Thursday, the body of Claudine Luera, 42, was found along the same highway just two miles east. Shortly thereafter, the bodies of a 28-year-old transgender woman and a fourth unidentified victim were discovered separately along Interstate 35, which Ortiz knew well as part of the Border Patrol's Highway Interdiction Team. "We're thinking that maybe he was preying on them … [thinking] no one's going to wonder if they go missing," Luera's sister tells the Times. Battling a heroin addiction, Luera "was loved by her family and her friends," she says. "She didn't deserve to die like this." Garza says officials plan to look for other victims "everywhere that [Ortiz] has been." (Read more serial killer stories.)

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