Frustrations were mounting over length of convict search

Banfield

(NewsNation) — Shortly before the announcement that escaped inmate Gonzalo Lopez had been killed, a neighbor in the area where he was being sought said she was fearful and frustrated by the length of time Lopez had managed to evade authorities.

Lopez was killed Thursday night, hours after the bodies of two adults and three children were found at a home in Leon County, Texas, near where Lopez was last seen in May, public safety officials told local media Thursday night. Lopez is suspected of the murders.

Before authorities announced the death of Lopez late Thursday, NewsNation spoke with an anonymous guest named Melanie, who asked to withhold her last name for security purposes.

“I got a call from a neighbor who told me that she had just found out that five people were murdered that’s only a couple of miles from where I live,” Melanie said Thursday night during an appearance on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”

Melanie told NewsNation that the house in question was a “weekend home,” and that the family only went missing a couple of days ago.

She said that when the manhunt started, there were several guards blocking highway entrances every hundred feet.

“But then, next thing you know, they disappear completely. They had said they were going to relocate the headquarters for the search area, and he could possibly be anywhere in Texas,” Melanie said.

“There were no more briefings, not only for ya’ll (the media), but no law enforcement were really giving us any updates regarding the search, whatsoever,” Melanie added.

“We all began to let our guard down, all of us. It terrifies me to know that that man could have been standing in my backyard, in the woods, camouflaged, and I would never know it.”

“I am angry at TDCJ (the Texas Department of Criminal Justice) and their negligence for allowing this man to escape,” Melanie said.

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