Border Patrol Agent Kidnaps, Assaults Three Undocumented Immigrants Before Killing Himself

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Border Patrol agent found dead in his South Texas home allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted three undocumented women from Honduras, FBI officials said.

Esteban Manzanares, 32, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his home in the border town of McAllen Wendesday.

"He is the subject of the investigation and we believe he is responsible for the kidnapping of all three of the victims," Michelle Lee, an FBI spokeswoman in San Antonio, told the Los Angeles Times.

Agents were led to Manzanares' home by an undocumented immigrant who was injured and claimed she and two teen girls had been attacked by a man.

Investigators found one teen near the border in the brush. Hours later the second teen was found at Manzanares’ home in the suburb of Mission.

When authorities approached the home, they heard a gunshot. A SWAT team found Manzanares’ body inside.

Manzanares, who worked for Border Patrol since 2008, allegedly picked up the women on duty.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement Friday that the actions of Manzanares are not representative of CBP agents and employees are held to “the highest ethical standards.”

“I am deeply sorry that this incident occurred and am committed to doing everything in my power to prevent incidents like this from occurring again,” R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said in the statement.

A spokeswoman for the Honduran Embassy, Karol Escalante, said the three women were recovering at a hospital in McAllen.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News