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'Fear remains': Centerville residents speak up about the fatal search for Gonzalo Lopez

Posted at 2:23 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 15:23:34-04

CENTERVILLE, Texas — It’s been five days since the bodies of the Collins family were found on their vacation property in Centerville, and since escaped convict - and number one suspect in the homicides - Gonzalo Lopez was killed by police.

And while community members have expressed gratitude for the time and efforts of officers on the ground, they've also been outspoken with their frustrations.

“Just be truthful with us," Jenny Adams, a Leon County resident, said in an address to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice [TDCJ].

"Don’t try to hide it,

"Don’t try to hide stuff or cover it up,

"Just be honest with us and let us know,

"And I understand you didn’t want to inform the public about some information because it’s an investigation,

"But at the same time, we’re the ones who were out here, and it’s our lives that were on the line.”

Locals are sad.

They’re shaken.

Some are upset with what they believe has been poor communication between TDCJ and the public.

The morning police suspect that Gonzalo Lopez murdered a family of five in Centerville – it was a morning that the people of the town had their guard down.

“I mean, we’re here," said Kayla Langford, a Centerville resident.

"We’re the ones that need to know,

"I understand they don’t need to let out specifics that they’re looking at this particular house, but that’s close enough that people went back to their daily lives.”

Langford’s family member owns a local convenience store, and she has surveillance video of a man matching Lopez’s description.

The man is seen making a purchase there in the early afternoon last Thursday, which would have been shortly after the Collins family were killed.

Langford said the man in the video left in a white pickup truck exactly matching the one which police say Lopez stole from the Collins ranch property.

“There’s footage of him there at the counter, interacting with one of the girls that work for [my family member]," Langford said.

"If that guy had waked up to me, I wouldn’t have known it was him,

"He didn’t look anything [like Lopez's pictures]."

Paranoia and fear remain with Centerville locals.

A feat that any of them could have been killed like grandfather Mark and grandsons Waylon, Carson, Bryson, and Hudson Collins.

KRHD interviewed Jenny Adams weeks ago about her constant fear of Lopez's presence while tending to her horses at night.

Though Lopez is gone, the fear isn’t.

“It was such a safe, quiet community," Adams said.

"And now, last night it was my first night back at work since everything happened,

"I only lasted an hour before I had to go get my fiance because I was terrified."

Lopez had been on the run, escaped from a prison transport bus in Centerville, since May 12.

He was killed when confronted by police last Thursday evening in Jourdanton.