A Border Patrol agent who allegedly killed four women and kidnapped another has been indicted on a capital murder charge, the AP reports. Juan David Ortiz, 35, initially faced four murder charges after authorities arrested him in the border town on Sept. 15. The charge was upgraded because, prosecutors say, Ortiz caused the death of more than one person in service of the “same scheme or course of conduct,” NBC reports, which adds that prosecutors will seek the death penalty. In this case, the Ortiz’s stated motivation for the alleged slayings was “to clean up the streets of Laredo,” Webb County DA Isidro Alaniz said Wednesday.
Ortiz, a Navy veteran and 10-year Border Patrol agent, also faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful restraint, and evading arrest. Authorities say Ortiz picked up the victims, all of whom were sex workers or had drug problems, and shot them during a two-week period in September. Ortiz has reportedly confessed to the killings. The victims are Melissa Ramirez, 29; Claudine Ann Luera, 42; Guiselda Alicia Hernandez, 35; and Janelle Ortiz, 28. Calling the murders “horrific,” Alaniz said the women were killed “in a cold, callous, and calculating way.” (A security guard allegedly killed this tourist.)