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Transgender woman allegedly killed by US border patrol agent in ‘serial killing spree’

Transgender woman allegedly killed by US border patrol agent in ‘serial killing spree’

Nikki Enriquez, a transgender woman killed in Texas

Nikki Enriquez was one of four women killed in Laredo, Texas, all of whom were sex workers.

Enriquez, a 28-year-old Latinx transgender woman, also went by the name of Janelle. Juan David Ortiz, a 10-year US Border Patrol intel supervisor, allegedly killed her and the other women.

Officials are calling his actions, which started earlier this month, a ‘serial killing spree’.

According to the Texas Tribune, Ortiz’s actions were stopped when a fifth woman he kidnapped escaped and alerted a state trooper.

Erika Pena originally went willingly with Ortiz but when things became dangerous, she escaped. Ortiz reportedly pulled a gun on her when she started speaking about a woman who had been found dead the week before. When he pulled into a gas station, Pena tried to escape but Ortiz grabbed her shirt.

She removed her shirt and fled, eventually finding a state trooper.

‘In our opinion he is the sole person responsible for this horrific serial killing spree,’ Isidro Alaniz said. Alaniz is the Webb County-Zapata County District Attorney.

Ortiz allegedly committed the actions off-duty and in his own car. After law enforcement arrested Ortiz without incident, he provided details of the crimes in an arrest affidavit.

Alaniz added: ‘It’s not a reflection of Border Patrol, they do a great job protecting our borders they’re super professional and the work they do is important.’

He also said his office will be pursuing four first-degree murder charges.

‘Sad and in disbelief’

It is believed Enriquez was Ortiz’s last victim.

Friends and family told local media they are ‘sad and in disbelief’ over her death. Enriquez’s mother, Edna, described her as a ‘high-spirited person who would never get mad and was always smiling’.

Her cousin Veronica Castillo also said she was ‘beloved by the local LGBTQ community’.

According to activists, authorities initially deadnamed her in their reporting.

Enriquez is the 21st known transgender person killed in the US this year. Specifically, transgender women of color and immigrants have faced disproportionate violence.

In May, Roxsana Hernandez, a transgender asylum seeker from Central America, died while in the custody of ICE. An investigation is ongoing into her death.

Last year was the deadliest year on record for the LGBTI community in the US, and also for transgender people alone.

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