Friday’s episode of “20/20” covers the case of Juan David Ortiz, a former Border Patrol agent who was convicted in 2022 of murdering four women during a two-week killing spree in 2018.
ABC’s “The One That Got Out” features real footage from the night Ortiz was apprehended, as well as testimony from the one woman who escaped him and video from https://twitter.com/ABC2020/status/1725203417193463988.
How did police capture Juan David Ortiz?
When two women were found dead on the outskirts of Laredo, Texas, in 2018, law enforcement suspected they had a serial killer on their hands, but did not expect him to be one of their own, according to CBS.
29-year-old Melissa Ramirez was found dead of a gunshot wound on Sept. 4, and 42-year-old Claudine Anne Luera was shot and killed nine days later, by CBS.
Ten days after the first victim was discovered, the case was blown wide open when 26-year-old Erika Peña ran up to a state trooper outside a gas station and told him she had just been threatened with a gun. ABC reports she had escaped from a car with 35-year-old Juan David Ortiz, whom police later determined was responsible for the two earlier murders.
Police then began a manhunt for Ortiz, who killed two more women that night: 35-year-old Guiselda Alicia Cantu and 28-year-old Janelle Ortiz, per CNN. State troopers found him later that night hiding in a hotel’s parking garage and put him under arrest.
Who is Juan David Ortiz?
Ortiz was a Navy veteran who worked as a Border Patrol intelligence supervisor at the time of his arrest, per The Associated Press. He told investigators that his murders were an attempt to “clean up” the streets of Laredo, as the five women he targeted were all sex workers. Ortiz was a client of several of the women.
The Associated Press published an article shortly after the killings about the four women who were murdered, noting that they had endured difficult lives and were hoping to overcome their situations.
“They had families. They were loved. They were someone. They were human,” Colette Mireles, the sister of victim Claudine Luera, told The Associated Press.
CNN reports Ortiz has a wife and several children, and he posted goodbyes to them on Facebook the night he was captured. The Webb County Sheriff’s Office said Ortiz appeared ready to commit suicide, but that they were able to apprehend him without incident.
Ortiz was jailed and was convicted in 2022 of capital murder and received a sentence of life in prison without parole, per The Associated Press.
Friday’s “20/20” episode, “The One That Got Out,” will premiere at 8 pm MST on ABC and will be available for streaming on Hulu the next day.