After the murder of four sex workers, Investigators in Texas have charged a U.S. Border Patrol agent with murder and assault with a deadly weapon. This fact alone may give women more reason to worry about reporting incidents to authorities.
Juan David Ortiz was arrested on September 16th after confessing to the murders of four women and the attempted murder of a fifth. The former intel supervisor told investigators he wanted to “eradicate all prostitutes.”
Melissa Ramirez, Claudine Ann Luera, Humberto Ortiz, and an unnamed victim were all murdered between September 3rd and September 15th. Their bodies were all found in a rural area outside Loredo within miles of one another.
Webb County District Attorney, Isidro Alaniz, told reporters a fifth victim managed to escape Ortiz and found a state trooper who assisted in Ortiz’s arrest.
The women Ortiz murdered were all sex workers, and the style of murders were the same across the board. These facts have led to Texas Rangers labelling Ortiz as a serial killer. He would befriend the sex workers and convince them to get into his truck. Then they would travel away from the city and he would commit the murder.
Chief Federico Garza said the process was disturbingly easy: “[Ortiz] knew the victims, and the victims knew him.”
What disturbs many involved in the investigation is that he could have continued his killing spree. Ortiz utilized his position within the Border Patrol to keep tabs on the investigation.
Judge Tano Tijerina, the highest ranking executive in the county, underscored the point.
“He was being given all the intel and he knew they weren’t looking, Ortiz used his position as intel supervisor to monitor leads in the investigators and avoid arreking for him,” Tijerina said. “As the bodies were found and police began noticing similarities in the shootings.”
Ortiz’s actions indicate a dire problem within our legal system. These individuals who are supposed to protect American citizens often abuse their powers, especially when it comes to vulnerable women. Incidents where police have knowingly neglected sexual abuse cases and have been accused of understaffing their sex-crimes division are all too common in the United States.
Congress has begun questioning leaders of the Customs and Border Protection Agency due to protracted issues with its agents. The agency has had a recent history of legal issues and have been accused of poor hiring practices.
With growing public distrust of police and other law enforcement officers, one would think supervisors would take care to hire the right people. But Ortiz’s actions, coupled with flippant disregard by those in charge, points to an unsettling future for many in our country.
Featured Image by Jack Finnigan on Unsplash
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