US Border Patrol agent arrested on suspicion of killing four women

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A U.S. Border Patrol agent suspected of killing four women was arrested early today after a fifth woman who had been abducted managed to escape from him and notify authorities, law enforcement officials said, describing the agent as a "serial killer".

The bodies of two women were found earlier in the week, and another two were found early Saturday morning.

When troopers found him on a parking lot, Ortiz tried to escape on foot and was eventually found in a back of a truck.

Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said that the evidence suggests that "the manner in which they were killed is similar". Deputies detained the agent following a two-week murder investigation following the discovery of the bodies of two women the agent is accused of killing, KGNS reported on Saturday. Local media in Laredo, 150 miles (240 km) southwest of San Antonio, said they had been working as prostitutes. It is believed Ortiz targeted these women and acted alone.

The bodies of three females and one male were found over the past two weeks, sheriff's spokesman Eduardo Chapa told CNN.

"We do consider this to be a serial killer", Alaniz added. Federal prosecutors said the agent, Salvador Contreras, 50, sent child-porn images to an undercover agent whom Contreras believed was the mother of 8-year-old and 14-year-old girls. A second victim, Claudine Anne Luera, was found alive but died at the hospital.

Alaniz said the case broke Friday when a woman was reportedly kidnapped and escaped.

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Investigators in the latest death case in Laredo have revealed the name of the victim.

He said investigators had "very strong evidence" that Mr Ortiz was behind the killings.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson confirmed Ortiz is a supervisory Border Patrol agent.

"I extend my condolences to the families of the victims during this hard time".

Ortiz is a 10-year veteran of the Webb County Border Patrol.

Image: Ortiz was arrested by police in the Texas city of Laredo.

He referred questions about the investigation to authorities in Webb County and to the Texas Department of Public Safety, whose Texas Rangers are also investigating.

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