TDCJ: Search in 'original perimeters' for Texas escapee concludes, renewed search to begin

Posted at 4:59 PM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 16:14:43-04

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice and numerous law enforcement agencies have concluded air and ground search in Leon County for convicted murderer Gonzalo Lopez.

According to TDCJ, the search is now going to be renewed and expanded with "a contingent of personnel" remaining in Leon County to conduct strategic searches outside the original perimeter.

“Anyone who has knowledge of Lopez’s location should come forward,” said Inspector General Cris Love. “Those found to be helping or harboring him not only will face arrest and prosecution, but I believe they are putting themselves in danger. Lopez has a complete disregard for human life and will do what it takes to avoid capture. We will take this investigation where ever it leads us until Lopez is back in custody.”

No stone will be left unturned, said TDCJ, in this renewed search by Office of Inspector General, Texas Rangers, and U.S. Marshals who will follow leads and track Lopez’s whereabouts.

"Those with information on the suspect should call TDCJ OIG Crime Stoppers at 1-800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171," said TDCJ. "Lopez is approximately 6’0” feet tall and 190 lbs and was last seen wearing white clothing in a wooded area off of Highway 7 in Leon County. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the capture of Lopez."

Just before 3:45 p.m. Friday afternoon Texas DPS Troopers were seen opening back up Highway 7 to motorists.

“We will have folks of the office of the inspector general, along with the folks of Texas Department of Criminal Justice along with other law enforcement looking for him in other areas besides Leon County this is a new phase of the search," Hurst said.

Hurst said the Leon County public can resume their normal lives but he urges residents to stay alert.

“Anybody that lives here that has been impacted by this search they should consider that they can go back to their normal routine," said Hurst. “If they have anything or something on their property they don’t feel comfortable with contact, local law enforcement that’s what they are here for.”

Hurst said Highway 7 is now open to motorists who wish to access it.

“The roadblock is now down, Highway 7 is now open traffic going up eastbound and westbound," said Hurst.