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Escaped Inmate Remains at Large

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Search Enters Fourth Week

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – The search for escaped inmate Gonzalo Artemio Lopez has now entered its fourth week. On May 12, Lopez commandeered a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) transport bus, stabbed a corrections officer and fled on foot into a wooded area near Highway 7 west in Leon County, approximately 1.5 miles from Interstate 45.

In an effort to capture Lopez, over the Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Marshals Service released new photos.

They have also set up a mobile app and online portal for reporting tips about his whereabouts. A combined reward of up to $50,000 is being offered for information leading to Lopez’s capture. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact TDCJ Office of Inspector General Crime Stoppers at 1-800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171 or your local law enforcement agency at 911. You can also leave a tip via the TDCJ-OIG Online Tip Form.

Over the May 20 weekend, TDCJ officials released the following statement, “The search for escapee Gonzalo Lopez is entering a new, expanded phase. The TDCJ, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with numerous law enforcement agencies have concluded an exhaustive ground and air search in Leon County.”

The media release further stated, “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 the U.S. Marshals is to leave no stone unturned as they follow leads and track Lopez’s whereabouts.”

TDCJ advises Lopez should be considered armed and dangerous. Lopez is approximately 6ft. tall and weighs 190 lbs. He was last seen wearing white clothing.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.

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