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Highway 7 in Leon County open, air and ground search continues for escaped murderer Gonzalo Lopez

Lopez escaped more than a week ago from a prison transport bus just outside of Centerville.

LEON COUNTY, Texas —

Friday, May 20, 2022

4 p.m. - TDCJ PIO Robert Hurst said Highway 7 is now open and people are able to move freely throughout the county.

3:30 p.m. - Texas Department of Criminal Justice Chief of Staff Jason Clark said the search for Gonzalo Lopez has entered a new and expanded phase. While several law enforcement agencies, along with the TDCJ and the Office of the Inspector General have done a complete ground and air search in Leon County, the number of searchers may be scaled back to the necessary number needed to conduct a more strategic search of the outside original secured 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.”

12 p.m. - Texas Department of Criminal Justice Public Information Officer Robert Hurst said the search party for Gonzalo Lopez is looking into TDCJ methods done in previous searches to form a new strategy in the search for the convicted killer.

While severe weather is expected to hit the Brazos Valley Saturday, Hurst said the resolve to find Lopez remains strong and searchers will do as much as possible if he is not found before the storm hits. Hurst said they continue to follow leads and work tips.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

6 p.m. - As day eight comes to a close, the TDCJ remains confident they will not stop until Gonzalo Lopez is back in custody. With a new change in strategy, the search seems to be re-energized and authorities continue to search several miles around where Lopez was last seen a week ago.

3 p.m. - KAGS' Sara Wilson and Anita Hamilton-Freeman were allowed to travel near the perimeter where Gonzalo Lopez was last seen. There were several people searching in the area for any clues that Lopez may have left behind. There were also search dogs in the area, helping law enforcement officers look through the thick brush and wooded area.

12 p.m. - Texas Department of Criminal Justice Public Information Officer Robert Hurst said officials are changing up their strategy in the hunt for Gonzalo Lopez. As the search for the escaped murderer enters week two, Hurst said he couldn't release many details into what this new strategy would be, but said they do have evidence that supports Lopez still being in the area.

Hurst also said Lopez lasted nine days in his last escape attempt before he was caught again.

To see a summary of last week in reports and pictures, check out our YouTube playlist on the hunt for Gonzalo Lopez:

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