Texas police on horseback search for fugitive killer in Leon County

Reward money goes up to $50K

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

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

There is now a combined $50,000 reward 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 Office of Inspector General is offering $5,000. The reward money started at $15,000 on May 13.

“We will not rest until Lopez is caught,” TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier said. “I want to personally thank all the agencies that are assisting in this massive search and those agencies that are contributing to the reward.”

Centerville is approximately 2 1/2 hours northeast of Austin and 1 1/2 hours east of Waco. Schools in Centerville were closed and residents were told to shelter in place as police searched for Lopez last week.

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

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

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