A United States Border Patrol agent is being called a serial killer after his arrest for suspicion of kidnapping in Webb County, Texas. Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said during a news conference with KGNS that all evidence points to Juan David Ortiz, 35, as the perpetrator of a recent string of murders that saw 4 women turn up dead near the Rio Grande. "We have very strong evidence that he is the person that's been killing," Cuellar said.
Shortly thereafter, Ortiz officially confessed to murdering the 4 women between September 2 and September 15, and was subsequently charged with four counts of murder as well as one count of unlawful restraint with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bond was set at $2.5 million.
All 4 victims were found shot in the head, and investigators are not ruling out the possibility of more. In addition, all 4 victims made their living with their bodies as "working girls."
"He was profiling certain kinds of victims," said Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz. "The suspect was hunting for his victims."
Ortiz could have continued his spree had it not been for the escape of his fifth would-be victim. According to the criminal affidavit, the woman reported that she was in a truck with a man named "David" when they started talking about one of the girls then had gone missing the week prior. He then pulled out a weapon and aimed it at her. When she tried to run away, he grabbed her by the shirt in an attempt to keep her in the vehicle.
Luckily she was able to quickly slip out of her shirt and sprint to a nearby gas station where she located a state trooper. She reported the incident to him and gave a detailed description of what the man looked like. Hours later, authorities found him at a gas station in Loredo, Texas. He attempted to make evasive maneuvers, running to a Ramada Inn where he tried to hide in the bed of a pickup truck. After they read him his Miranda Rights, he confessed to murdering the 4 women, and it turned out 2 of the 4 occurred between the almost-fifth victim's escape and when he was found.
Following his arrest, authorities made a startling discovery when they went to search his house: he had a veritable stockpile of weapons inside his home. They think he was preparing for a standoff following the woman's escape from his truck, and may have had a death wish.
"He had numerous, numerous weapons---he was loading up all these weapons thinking that the Department of Public Safety was going to confront him and he was looking at a confrontation. Thank God that didn't happen," said Webb County Chief Deputy Federico Garza. "He was going to try to commit suicide by cop, he tried to use his phone to make it look like it was a weapon. It didn't happen, and he was arrested without incident."
Authorities also believe that Ortiz used Facebook to post goodbye messages to his family shortly after the woman escaped his grasp. "To my wife and kids, I love u," read one post. "Doc Ortiz checks out. Farewell," read another. Prior to his 10 years with the US Border Patrol, Ortiz was a hospital corpsman in the Navy, a position for which "doc" is a common nickname
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said at the news conference that Ortiz's actions do not represent the agency, and that Ortiz has been placed on indefinite unpaid suspension. What do you think about this case? Why did Ortiz target a specific type of victim? Was mental illness involved? Sound off in the comments down below!
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