CENTERVILLE, Texas - DNA collected from a cabin matched an escaped Texas inmate who authorities believe killed five people at a nearby home in Leon County, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice says.
According to TDCJ, the DNA was collected from the cabin two days before a grandfather and his four grandchildren were killed at a nearby ranch, but the DNA results didn’t come back until after their deaths.
Authorities say Gonzalo Lopez, 46, escaped from a prison bus on May 12 and had last been seen running into a wooded area in Leon County. The search came to an end on June 2 when Lopez was shot following a brief chase.
Earlier that day, authorities in Leon County said they received a call from a concerned family member who had not heard from one of their relatives. Authorities went to the home near Centerville where they were supposed to be staying and found five people – ages 66, 18, 16, 11, and 11—dead.
Authorities believe Lopez killed the family before taking off in a stolen pickup truck.
Shortly after, law enforcement spotted the stolen vehicle south of San Antonio in Jourdanton, where they ended in a gunfight with the driver, later identified as Lopez. He was shot and killed in the incident.
The Tomball Independent School District, near Houston, said the four children killed at the Leon County home were students in their district.
The victims were identified as 66-year-old Mark Collins, 18-year-old Waylon, 16-year-old Carson, 11-year-old Hudson, and 11-year-old Bryson.