Update: Fourth victim identified
The Texas Department of Public Safety has released the identity of the fourth victim who was allegedly killed by Juan David Ortiz.
DPS says 35-year-old Guiselda Alicia Cantu was found on Saturday, September 15th at around one in the morning near I-35 and mile marker 21.
Authorities say due to the connection to previous homicides, an autopsy was requested.
It is not known at this time how Cantu died
The Texas Ranger Divisions and Webb County Sheriff's Office are still investigating the case.
The Webb County Sheriff’s Office has arrested the man believed to be responsible for the murders of four people and the kidnapping of another.
Thirty-five-year-old Juan David Ortiz, a ten year veteran and supervisor with the Laredo Sector Border Patrol is facing four charges of murder and one charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful restraint.
Authorities are calling the case a series of murders, made by a serial killer.
A total of four victims were murdered and only one victim was able to escape.
The first victim, 29-year-old Melissa Ramirez was found on September 3rd, on Jefferies Road along Camino Colombia.
According to the affidavit, Ortiz confessed to having driven to Jefferies Road and when Ramirez got out of his truck he shot her in the head multiple times.
The second victim, 42-year-old Claudine Luera was found on Thursday, September 13th by a truck driver along Camino Colombia just a few feet away from the first crime.
According to court documents, Ortiz pulled over on the side of the road after Luera questioned him about the first victim Melissa.
Ortiz allegedly got out of the vehicle and shot Luera in the head multiple times.
On Saturday at around 2 a.m. authorities found Ortiz hiding in a truck at a hotel parking lot after receiving a tip from a victim who was allegedly kidnapped by Ortiz, but was able to escape.
Authorities say she is the only survivor in the case.
According to court documents, it says she too confronted Ortiz about the first victim, Melissa at the suspect’s home.
They then drove into a gas station located on McPherson and Loop 20, which is when the victim was able to alert DPS that he was at the gas station.
After an hour had passed by, Ortiz had already killed two more victims.
The third victim was found on I-35 near Mile Marker 20 moments after authorities have captured Ortiz.
The fourth victim, a male was found on the same day near mile marker 14 later in the afternoon.
The victim was identified as Humberto Ortiz.
Both of these victims were picked up along San Bernardo and killed with a gunshot to their heads.
District Attorney Isidro Alaniz says, “Laredo is not the same town we grew up in. These are crimes that are consistent with big cities. Laredo is a big city. We are seeing more and more serious crimes.”
Neighbors of Ortiz are in disbelief that all of this was going on right in front of them.
Resident Sierra Lopez says, “My take on this is that is very scary, to know that someone that is living right in front of you right across from you, would be committing such horrible crimes. It's unimaginable, definitely. So it is scary to know. However, I want to applaud and congratulate law enforcement officers who responded to it very quickly, I feel safer now."
Border Patrol agents have issued a statement regarding the case saying they are fully cooperating with the investigation.
Border Patrol says, “While it is CBP policy to not comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, criminal action by our employees is not, and will not be tolerated. Out of respect to the victims' family, we ask that deference and due process be given to the investigation so that all the facts are brought to light and they can receive the closure they deserve."
Congressman Cuellar says he has been in contact with CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and spoke about what can be done in the future to weed out these types of agents.
Cuellar says, “This person worked for the intel, the intelligence part of the Border Patrol, so he was getting all the leads that the local law enforcement were given. He had access to all of those leads so what happened is the fact that this young girl got away otherwise she could have been killed, would have been victim number five, and heaven knows if there would have been more after number five.”
Cuellar also commended the work of the Texas Rangers, Webb County Sheriff’s Office, the district attorney’s office and the Laredo Police Department for arresting the suspect and bringing the murders to an end.