The Border Patrol agent accused of murdering four women and attempting to abduct a fifth reportedly wanted to die in what authorities are calling “suicide by cop.”
Juan David Ortiz, 35, an intel supervisor for the Border Patrol, was arrested Saturday in Laredo, Texas, after authorities found him hiding in a truck in the parking garage of a hotel after the fifth woman he tried to kidnap fled the scene and notified police.
As a SWAT team closed in on Ortiz in the parking garage, he positioned his cellphone in a way to make it look like it was a gun after he reportedly left his firearm behind at some point, The Washington Post reported.
Ortiz wanted to commit “suicide by cop,” when a suicidal person tries to provoke law enforcement into killing them, Webb County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Fred Garza said in news conference Monday.
Garza also said that Ortiz was not on duty and wore civilian clothes during his killings.
Ortiz told the police after his arrest how he picked up the women in his truck and drove them to remote areas before shooting them in the head in a string of similarly patterned killings.
“We do consider this to be a serial killer,” Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz told the Texas Tribune.
Ortiz, a 10-year veteran of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has allegedly killed four women since Sept. 3, all of whom were sex workers that Ortiz had apparently targeted specifically after gaining their trust or at least knowing the victims beforehand, according to WaPo’s report.
Ortiz’s first victim, identified as Melissa Ramirez, was shot in the head with a handgun multiple times on Sept. 3 after Ortiz drove her outside the Laredo city limits. (RELATED: ‘Serial Killer’ Border Patrol Agent Charged In Murder Of 4 Sex Workers)
Similarly, Ortiz reportedly killed his next victim, Claudine Ann Luera, after driving her outside city limits on Sept. 13.
The third victim is Nikki Enriquez, a transgender woman whom Ortiz shot and killed sometime between Sept. 14-15. His body was found on the side of Interstate 35, Caller Times reported.
The fourth victim, identified as Jane Doe, was killed in a similar fashion.
Officials insist Ortiz is a “rogue individual” and does not reflect the CBP agency as a whole, Chief of Border Patrol Carla Provost said according to WaPo.
“CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility and United States Border Patrol are fully cooperating with all investigators. The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General has been notified and is working with investigators,” CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan said in a statement Saturday, according to USA Today.
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