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U.S. border agent suspected of raping undocumented immigrants found dead

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A U.S. Border Patrol agent was found dead on Thursday in his Texas home just north of the Mexico border by authorities alerted to allegations he had kidnapped and sexually assaulted three female undocumented immigrants, federal agents said.

Authorities did not release a cause of death, but a local newspaper said he may have committed suicide.

Two of the female victims escaped on Wednesday night and alerted authorities, who then found the third woman in the Mission, Texas, home of the dead agent, according to FBI Special Agent Michelle Lee in San Antonio and Customs and Border Protection officials.

"An injured adult female provided information that she and two other females had been assaulted by a male suspect," a Customs and Border Protection statement said.

Authorities then went to the agent's home where they found his body and the injured woman. Further details were not provided, including the name of the agent.

The McAllen Monitor newspaper cited law enforcement officials as saying the three women had illegally entered Texas on Wednesday night.

The agent is suspected of raping the three, who included a mother and her 14-year-old daughter and another 14-year-old girl. It said local officials believe the Border Patrol agent shot himself.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Steve Orlofsky)

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