U.S. Border Patrol hasn’t had the best reputation when it comes to immigration issues, building trust among the people and community engagement.
And the Saturday night arrest of Juan David Ortiz, a border patrol supervisor, for the murders of 4 sex workers including a transgender woman and the assault of an additional woman has surely widened the circle of trust. The story unfolds like pages from a Stephen King novel.
The murders and the assault occurred between Sept. 3rd 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 that 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. 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 Ramirez’s body 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, badly injured, but still alive. The mother of five died later in the day at the hospital.
The most gut-wrenching and frightening part of this situation is Ortiz committed the murders on his own time and reported to work every day, as if nothing happened.