CENTERVILLE, Texas – Authorities are hoping an increase in reward money will bring them closer to capturing a Texas inmate who escaped a transport bus earlier this week after allegedly stabbing the driver.
Gonzalo Lopez, 46, escaped Thursday, according to a report from The Associated Press. He was convicted in 2006 of killing a man along the Texas-Mexico border and was serving a life sentence for capital murder.
As of Saturday, the search for Lopez is still underway but authorities increased the reward money to $50,000, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The $50,000 reward includes a $35,000 reward from the Texas Department of Public Safety, a $10,000 reward from U.S. Marshals and a $5,000 reward from the TDCJ OIG.
This is an increase from the $22,500 that was announced Friday.
“We will not rest until Lopez is caught,” said Executive Director Bryan Collier in a statement. “I want to personally thank all of the agencies who are assisting in this massive search and those agencies that are contributing to the reward. Should you have information on his whereabouts, please contact the Crime Stoppers tip line.”
Lopez assaulted a correctional officer on the transport bus before escaping the vehicle, according to officials. The officer’s injuries were deemed non-life-threatening.
He is described as being six feet tall and was last seen wearing white clothing in a wooded area off of Highway 7 in Leon County.
The Office of Inspector General, DPS and multiple law enforcement agencies are aiding the TDCJ in the search for Lopez.
Anyone with more information should call TDCJ OIG Crime Stoppers at 1-800-832-8477 or 936-437-5171.