"The suspect was hunting for his victims."
In a chilling case coming out of Texas, a border patrol agent has been arrested in connection with the slayings of four people and the kidnapping of a woman who managed to escape.
The 35-year-old border agent Juan David Ortiz confessed to taking the lives of four people between September 3 and September 15 of this month. A criminal complaint was filed against him in Webb County, Texas.
The District Attorney Isidro R. "Chilo" Alaniz. says Ortiz was charged with murder and unlawful restraint with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
All four bodies have been recovered said sheriff's spokesman Eduardo Chapa. Authorities say they aren't ruling out the possibility of more. It was originally reported in an affidavit that the victims were three women and one man, however, upon further investigation they found one of the dead described themselves as a transgender woman.
Ortiz would win the trust of his victims, meeting them several times before killing them. They were people struggling with addiction problems or worked in prostitution. All were executed with a handgun.
The authorities have described Ortiz as a serial killer.
"He was profiling certain kinds of victims," Alaniz said, adding "the suspect was hunting for his victims."
As of this report, it is unclear whether or not Ortiz has legal representation. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is cooperating fully with the investigation.
"While it is CBP policy to not comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, criminal action by our employees is not, and will not be tolerated," they said in a statement. "Out of respect for the victims' family and friends, we ask that deference and due process be given to the investigation so that all the facts are brought to light and they can receive the closure they deserve."
On Friday, the DA said Erika Pena managed to escape Ortiz and call police. She gave a detailed description of her assailant including his tattoos.
Law enforcement caught up with Ortiz at a gas station in Loredo, Texas and he fled to a Ramada Inn and hid in the bed of a pickup truck before being detained.
According to reports, Ortiz is a Navy veteran and has spent the last decade working for the US Border Patrol
United States Representative Henry Cuellar gave his condolences to the families of the victims and said state and federal agencies are "working diligently on this case," he said.
"This person worked for the intel, the intelligence part of the Border Patrol, so he was getting all the leads that the local law enforcement were given," said Congressman Cuellar who was glad Pena was able to flee. "Otherwise, she could have been killed, would have been victim number five, and heaven knows if there would have been more after number five."
This article has been updated to reflect Representative Henry Cuellar's quote which was mistakingly attributed to US Customs and Border Protection Commission Kevin McAleenan.