A four-day manhunt for a suspect in a mass murder in Cleveland, Texas, came to an end Tuesday evening when authorities found him and his domestic partner at a residence located in a town 20 miles away.
Francisco Oropeza, 38, and Divimara Lamar Nava, 53, were taken into custody after an anonymous tip led authorities to a home near Conroe, according to AP News.
Oropeza is currently being held in San Jacinto County Jail on a $7.5 million bond on five counts of murder in the first degree, per the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Office.
Lamar Nava is currently being detained at the Montgomery County correctional facility on a felony charge of impeding the arrest or prosecution of a known criminal. She is held on a bond of $250,000, according to AP News.
As The Dallas Express reported, Oropeza allegedly fatally shot 25-year-old Sonia Argentina Guzman and her 9-year-old son Daniel Enrique Laso, as well as 21-year-old Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 31-year-old Julisa Molina Rivera, and 18-year-old Jonathan Casarez.
The incident was triggered when Oropeza, who lived next door to the victims, refused to stop firing rounds in his yard despite being asked to do so by the neighbors.
Wilson Garcia told CNN that Oropeza shot and killed Argentina Guzman first at the front of the home. He then charged in and continued firing, as others inside attempted to hide and protect the children. Garcia was Argentina Guzman’s husband and Laso’s father.
Another victim helped Garcia escape the massacre.
“She told me to throw myself out the window because my children were already without a mother. So one of us had to stay alive to take care of them. She was the person who helped me jump out the window,” Garcia told CNN.
During a press conference on May 3, San Jacinto County Chief Deputy Sheriff Tim Kean declined to give further details about the tip that ended the four-day manhunt for Oropeza, according to AP News.
The authorities had set up a dragnet of more than 250 people and deployed drones and search dogs from multiple jurisdictions. A reward of $80,000 had also been offered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
San Jacinto County District Attorney Todd Dillon told reporters that alongside the arrests of Oropeza and Lamar Nava, others were taken into custody during the law enforcement maneuver that evening near Conroe, according to AP News.
One of them was the suspect’s friend Domingo Castilla, who Dillion said will likely face obstruction charges, according to AP News.
Lamar Nava allegedly kept in contact with investigators as Oropeza evaded authorities, telling them, for instance, that he came to their house in the early hours of May 2, according to AP News.
During her probable cause hearing, Lamar Nava confessed to passing a message to Oropeza’s cousins that he needed help getting across the border into Mexico, according to AP News. They allegedly refused.
U.S. immigration officials attest that Oropeza, a Mexican citizen, was deported from the U.S. a total of four times between 2009 and 2016 for unlawfully entering the country, as The Dallas Express reported.