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The convicted murderer that escaped from a prison transport bus last week remains at large with authorities announcing they are moving into an expanded manhunt. The extensive ground search for escaped convict Gonzalo Lopez, 46, will now involve personnel that will conduct strategic searches of areas outside the original secured perimeter from where Lopez was last seen.

According to ABC News, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) announced the search team will still have officers remain in the county to continue its investigations and follow leads. Inspector General Cris Love said that anyone who harbors criminals like Lopez will also be putting themselves in danger and has reminded locals that should they be found to be helping Lopez, they will be arrested and prosecuted.

“Lopez has a complete disregard for human life and will do what it takes to avoid capture,” Love said. “Anyone who has knowledge of Lopez’s location should come forward,” the Inspector General added.

Texas Rangers are working together with US Marshals and other law enforcement agencies to capture Lopez making sure no stone is left unturned. The search has gathered efforts from resources on the ground and air in the Texas county as authorities have gone on a full-scale search for a week mostly focused on Centerville which is about 2 hours north of Houston and its vicinity. A video released by the TDCJ showed hundreds of officers combing through the bush making sure they scoured every acre of bush patches and cow pastures around Centerville.

TDCJ spokesman Robert Hurst described Lopez as someone quite crafty citing that this is not the first time Lopez has made a run for it. "He’s done this before down in South Texas in Webb County he hid out for almost nine days," he said.

Photos of Lopez taken by surveillance cameras have been released by authorities and although no suspicious activity has been reported, Hurst addressed the community to enlighten them on how Lopez posed a true danger to the community.

"This is a very dangerous man. Back in 2005, he killed someone with a pickax. In 2004, he shot at an officer. If he has that device, whatever he used to cut through the door and also stab the officer, folks to need to be aware he may still have that on him," Hurst added.

Lopez was being transported to a scheduled medical appointment on May 12 when he managed to cut himself free from the caged part of the bus and stabbed the bus driver. He took over the bus and drove down the road as two officers assigned to the bus fired at him and disabled the vehicle by shooting at the rear tires. Lopez jumped out of the bus and fled in his shackles. He is serving a life sentence and carries a $50,000 bounty on his head.

Representation Image Prison Guard Watch Tower kabbagesaver/ Pixabay

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