The Slatest

Border Patrol Agent Who Confessed to Killing Four Women Indicted on Capital Murder Charge

A patch on the uniform of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The U.S. Border Patrol supervisor who confessed to shooting four women in rural Texas and leaving their bodies by the side of the road has been indicted on a charge of capital murder, the Associated Press reported.

Juan David Ortiz, who had worked for Border Patrol for 10 years, is accused of targeting sex workers in the killings earlier this year. He had originally been charged with four counts of murder along with aggravated assault and unlawful restraint, but the grand jury on Wednesday decided to upgrade the charges.

Ortiz, 35, said he wanted to kill sex workers to “clean up the streets of Laredo,” as he thought local police were not doing enough, according to the AP.

Ortiz began his spree on Sept. 3, when he killed Melissa Ramirez, 29. After the killing, he carried on with a normal life, going to work and living with his wife and children. Ten days later, he shot 42-year-old Claudine Luera. The next day he picked up a woman named Erika Pena, who says she managed to escape his truck after he pulled a gun on her. She ran and found a state trooper refueling his car at a nearby gas station, and Ortiz fled.

After he escaped, Ortiz picked up his last two victims: Guiselda Alicia Cantu, 35, and Janelle Ortiz, 28, according to the AP. He killed all his victims by shooting them in the head and leaving them along rural roads. Investigators have dubbed him a serial killer.

On Sept. 15, Pena helped the authorities track Ortiz down to a hotel parking garage in Laredo, where he was arrested. According to the AP, the prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.