The search for state prison escapee Gonzalo Lopez is scaled back in Leon County, while the coverage area goes statewide.
Robert Hurst with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice says as many as 800 law enforcement officers were in Leon County after Lopez escaped west of Centerville on May 12.
Hurst thanked those who provided food, water, and clothing to those in the manhunt.
He also says TDCJ appreciates the understanding of the families of inmates who have had their visitation suspended by the manhunt. Hurst added they “hope to have visitations back to a regular schedule as soon as possible.”
Click below for comments from Robert Hurst, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.
News release from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice:
The search for escapee Gonzalo Lopez is entering a new, expanded phase. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), the Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with numerous law enforcement agencies have concluded an exhaustive ground and air search in Leon County.
A contingent of personnel will remain in the county and will be conducting strategic searches of areas outside the original secured perimeter. The renewed focus by OIG, Texas Rangers, and U.S. Marshals is to leave no stone unturned as they follow leads and track Lopez’s whereabouts.
“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.”
Those with information on the suspect should call TDCJ OIG Crime Stoppers at 1-800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171. 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.