Juan David Ortiz, a U.S. Border Patrol supervisor, was arrested Saturday night for the murders of four sex workers, including a transgender woman, and the assault of an additional woman.
The murders and the assault occurred between Sept. 3 and early Saturday morning, authorities said in an arrest warrant and affidavit. The victims were described as prostitutes by Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz.
“At least two of the victims were U.S. citizens but the nationalities of the others is not known,” he said.
Alaniz also recounted Erika Pena’s account of what happened. Pena is Ortiz’s only surviving victim.
“She went willingly with him and then while she was with him, things started to get dangerous for her and when she tried to escape from him at a gas station, that’s when she ran into a trooper,” Alaniz said. “In our opinion, he is the sole person responsible for this horrific serial killing spree.”
“Erika stated David began to act weird when she began to speak about Melissa, a female she knew who had been discovered dead the week before,” according to Alaniz. Melissa was a reference to 29-year-old Melissa Ramirez, one of the women that Ortiz has acknowledged killing, according to police.
The investigation began with the discovery of the body of Ramirez, who had been shot in the head. The mother of two was found on a road in rural northwest Webb County.
Another victim, 42-year-old Claudine Anne Luera, was found shot and left in the road Thursday morning. The mother of five died later in the day at the hospital.