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U.S. border agent charged with murder of four women

A patch on the uniform of a U.S. Border Patrol agent at a highway checkpoint in Maine

Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar told reporters at a news conference on Saturday that he arrested U.S. Border Patrol Agent Juan David Ortiz early Saturday morning, the Associated Press reported.

Another woman who is suspected to have been a fifth victim is said to have escaped from Ortiz and alerted authorities to him.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was arrested Saturday on suspicion of killing four prostitutes and attempting to kidnap another victim.

Alaniz said officials will be looking at "potentially four charges of murder and aggravated kidnapping". His known victims were all believed to have worked as prostitutes, and according to a CBS News report, investigators have not ruled out the possibility of more victims.

The four victims' names were not immediately disclosed.

According to The Morning Times, investigators found the body of 29-year-old mother-of-two Melissa Ramirez of Laredo on September 4, along a remote stretch of Texas Route 255. Ortiz fled from state troopers and hid in the parking lot of a Laredo hotel, where he was arrested.

Authorities said that nearly had no doubt that Ortiz was behind the gruesome acts, with Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuelllar stating that police are in possession of "very strong evidence" implicating Ortiz.

Alaniz said investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the killings.

The names of the victims have not been released, but Alaniz says two are US citizens.

Andrew Meehan, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said the government is fully cooperating with local Texas authorities. They also declined to discuss the evidence or say how the women were killed.

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

"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", his statement read.

"Laredo is not the sleepy town that we grew up in", Alaniz said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, whose Texas Rangers are investigating, did not return several messages seeking comment.