MADISON COUNTY, Texas — The manhunt continues for Gonzalo Lopez, the convicted killer who escaped custody last month. Authorities in Madison County fanned out in a rural area between Bryan and Madisonville, though state officials later said it was a "false alarm."
The video above is from previous reporting.
"Texas Department of Criminal Justice is continuing the search for an escapee who may be in the area of State Highway 21 and the Navasota River, as of 10 p.m., Tuesday, May 31, 2022," representatives with the Madison County Office of Emergency Management wrote on Facebook. "TDCJ and local law enforcement are in the area conducting searches and surveillance."
Highway 21 was reopened early Wednesday, but the search remained active, authorities said.
"Not in Madison County," said TDCJ public information officer Robert Hurst. "It was a false alarm."
Madison County authorities took two calls Tuesday night about a suspicious man in the Navasota River area along Highway 21, emergency managers wrote in a social media post. The descriptions of the person were conflicting but were similar to Lopez's description.
Nobody was found during the search, authorities said.
The area of Highway 21 and the Navasota River is approximately 25 miles southwest of where Lopez escaped custody on May 12.
Lopez was on board a prison bus on Highway 7 headed for Huntsville when he shed his shackles, cut through a metal barrier, and stabbed a correctional officer before getting away on foot after the bus crashed, authorities said
"A fleet of TDCJ vehicles remain on roving patrol and continue to monitor activity in and around the original search areas," Hurst said. "Searches continue in the area in response to tips, potential sightings and information obtained by the staff and through the public."
The search to find the 46-year-old initially focused on a rural area outside of Centerville in Leon County, which is two hours north of Houston.
Shortly after Lopez escaped, we got a better idea of what those search efforts look like when TDCJ released a video showing hundreds of officers marching through the brush acre-by-acre. They even showed a pop-up city that developed on the cow pastures around Centerville.
Authorities previously released photos of Lopez that were taken by surveillance cameras shortly before he boarded the bus. On May 25, the U.S. Marshals released photos showing Lopez's tattoos.