Texas state troopers have arrested a US Border Patrol supervisor who they say went on a two-week serial killing spree that left four sex workers dead and ended only when a fifth woman escaped from him at a petrol station.
David Ortiz, 35, an intel supervisor for the Border Patrol, fled from state troopers and was found hiding in a truck in a hotel parking lot in Laredo at around 2am on Saturday, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said at a news conference in the border city about 235km southwest of San Antonio.
Cuellar said investigators have “very strong evidence” that he is responsible for the deaths of the four women who were sex workers. One of the victims was a transgender woman, said Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz.
“We do consider this to be a serial killer,” Alaniz said.
Alaniz said that after the suspect picked up the fifth woman she quickly realised that she was in danger.
“When she tried to escape from him at a gas station that’s when she ran into a (state) trooper,” Alaniz said.
Ortiz will be charged with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated kidnapping, Alaniz said.
He said that authorities believe Ortiz had killed all four women since September 3. The names of the victims were not immediately released. Alaniz said two of them were US citizens but the nationalities of the other two were not yet known.
“The manner in which they were killed is similar in all the cases from the evidence,” said Alaniz.