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An escaped murderer believed to be connected to the deaths of a family of five this week in Centerville, Texas, has been captured and killed, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
The murders occurred in the area where Gozalo Lopez, a convicted murderer, escaped from prison last month, launching a three-week manhunt.
He was reportedly killed in a shootout with police.
Authorities found the bodies of two adults and three children Thursday while conducting a welfare check at the home at the request of a relative.
A 1999 white Chevrolet Silverado was also missing from the home, which Lopez may have stolen before the shootout.
Lopez, who was associated with the Mexican mafia, escaped custody on May 12 after getting out of his restraints while being transported in a bus for high-risk inmates in a rural area near Centerville.
He was accused of cutting through a metal cage and stabbing a correction officer behind the wheel, temporarily stealing the bus before a second guard shot out the tires and the vehicle crashed. Lopez was last seen running into the woods off Highway 7.
He was believed to be armed, the department said and was one of Texas’ 10 most-wanted fugitives.
Hundreds of law enforcement on foot and horseback have been involved in the search in what officials have said is considered the largest concentrated manhunt in decades.
In 1996, Lopez was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and received two eight-year sentences. In 2006, he was convicted of capital murder and aggravated kidnapping and was sentenced to life in prison. Lopez received a second life sentence after he was convicted for attempted capital murder in 2007.
“The Marshals Service has elevated Gonzalo Lopez to major case status and is contributing up to $10,000 toward his capture,” U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Susan Pamerleau said in a May 25 statement. “We sincerely hope this money will serve as an incentive for someone who knows something to do the right thing and contact us. The sooner we get him back into custody, the better.”
In addition to the $10,000 from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Texas Department of Public Safety was offering $35,000, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is offering $5,000.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.