LEON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Reward money for capturing the most wanted fugitive in Texas increased over the weekend and the search continued Sunday near the small city of Centerville.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies were on horseback and with trained dogs looking for Gonzalo Lopez, 47. He escaped police custody May 12 after stabbing the driver of a transport bus from Gatesville to Huntsville, law enforcement said.
Lopez, thought to be affiliated with the Mexican mafia, was serving a life sentence for a capital murder out of Hildalgo County and attempted murder out of Webb County.
There’s 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, the U.S. Marshals are 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,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “I want to personally thank all of the agencies who are assisting in this massive search and those agencies that are contributing to the reward.”
Centerville is about 2.5 hours northeast of Austin and 1.5 hours east of Waco. Schools in Centerville closed and residents were told to shelter in place while law enforcement looked for Lopez last week.
According to KGNS, Lopez killed a man with a pickax after kidnapping him for ransom to settle a drug debt. He also was 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 do not approach him. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171.