Juan David Ortiz allegedly killed four people after Sept. 3 — and allegedly confessed to the killings

By Chris Harris
September 17, 2018 11:14 AM
Juan David Ortiz

Texas authorities have arrested a United States Border Patrol agent after he allegedly confessed to killing four people.

PEOPLE confirms the allegations against Juan David Ortiz, 35, who has been charged with four counts of murder, one count of unlawful restraint, and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Webb County District Attorney Isidro R. “Chilo” Alaniz.

Ortiz, who was arrested in Laredo, is accused in the killings, which took place between Sept. 3 and Sept. 15.

Ortiz has yet to plead to the charges against him and it was unclear if he was represented by an attorney who could comment on his behalf. He is being held on $2.5 million bond.

Officials have yet to rule out additional victims.

The four victims were women, one of whom was transgender. All were shot in the head with a handgun.

A fifth woman was allegedly kidnapped by Ortiz, but she managed to escape, running to a gas station where she found a state trooper.

Alaniz told reporters the first victim, 29-year-old Melissa Ramirez, was killed on Sept. 3. Then, on Sept. 10, Ortiz allegedly shot 42-year-old Claudine Luera to death. The two other victims have not been identified.

The suspected serial killer’s four alleged fatal victims were sex workers, Alaniz said during a press conference Saturday, calling Ortiz a “serial murderer.”

The case broke Friday evening, when Ortiz allegedly picked up a female sex worker who managed to escape him.

He allegedly brandished a handgun and threatened her. The woman tried to flee his vehicle, but Ortiz allegedly grabbed her shirt to prevent her from running. She wiggled out of it, freeing herself.

“He was profiling certain kinds of victims,” Alaniz told reporters, adding “the suspect was hunting for his victims.”

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Ortiz worked for the Border Patrol for ten years and had served in the U.S. Navy.

He was arrested around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, hours after the woman spoke to police, giving them a description of Ortiz and his vehicle.

Two of the killings occurred in the hours after the women escaped before Ortiz was arrested, Alaniz said.

Investigators believe he acted alone.

Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar has said anyone with information on the case should come forward.