Texas law enforcement on horseback search for escaped killer in Leon County

The reward money is up to $50,000

LEON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Rewards money for the capture of Texas’ most wanted fugitive increased over the weekend and the search continues near Centerville on Sunday.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies are on horseback and with trained dogs in search of 47-year-old Gonzalo Lopez. He escaped from police custody on May 12 after stabbing the driver of a Gatesville to Huntsville transport bus. Lopez, affiliated with the Mexican Mafia, was serving a life sentence for capital murder in Hildalgo County and attempted murder in Webb County.

There is now a combined reward of $50,000 for information leading to Lopez’s capture, the TDCJ said on its Facebook page. Texas DPS is offering $35,000, US Marshals is offering $10,000, and the TDCJ Inspector General’s Office is offering $5,000. The reward money started at $15,000 on May 13.

“We won’t rest until Lopez is caught,” TDCJ executive director Bryan Collier said. “I want to personally thank all of the agencies participating in this massive search and the agencies contributing to the award.”

Centerville is about 2.5 hours northeast of Austin and 1.5 hours east of Waco. Centerville schools closed and residents were told to shelter in place as law enforcement searched for Lopez last week.

According to KGNS, Lopez killed a man with a pickaxe after kidnapping him for ransom to settle a drug debt. He was also involved in the shooting of a Webb County sheriff’s deputy in 2004, KGNS reported.

If anyone thinks they see Lopez, call 911 immediately and stay away. Tips may also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171.

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