Manhunt over for Mexican national who killed 5 adults and children

May 3, 2023

A Mexican national suspected of killing five adults and children in Cleveland, Texas was arrested by a multi-agency task force Tuesday night near Cut & Shoot, Texas, according to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers. 

U.S. Marshal Deputies, Texas Department of Public Safety CID agents, and Border Patrol’s elite BORTAC agents found Francisco Oropesa hiding in a closet under some laundry and ended a four-day manhunt that began after bodies of his neighbors were found by the Sheriff's office.

Oropesa, who has been deported four times, fled on foot after allegedly killing the neighbors, a family of five Honduran migrants. Search dogs were used, but lost his scent when he went into a nearby water source.

The suspect was less than 20 miles from the crime scene when he was found. An $80,000 reward was offered for his capture, and tips came in that he was anywhere from Maryland to Wyoming.

Oropesa in US illegally

Oropesa is being held on $5 million bond. The FBI did get a tip that led them to Oropesa's location.

The shooting occurred after Oropesa, who was shooting an AR-15 in his yard at 11:30 p.m. Friday night, was reportedly asked by the neighbors to stop because their baby was sleeping inside.

At first he left the yard, but then allegedly came into the house and began shooting.

Oropesa was in the U.S. illegally at the time of the shooting. He was last deported in 2016, but a protective order was issued at the request of his wife last year, police said.

Conflicting reports

The homeowner Sonia Guzman knew Oropesa's wife, and Guzman's husband Wilson Garcia said that Oropesa helped them cut down a tree once.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Oropesa's wife is cooperating with police, while NBC News reported that Divimara Lamar Nava was arrested with her husband after she tried to hide him from police. At least two other weapons were found in his house.

Neighbors said that gunfire was frequent in the area, and police had gotten numerous complaints about Oropesa shooting his weapon before the shooting.

Other arrests may also have been made, but police did not say whether the home in which Oropesa was found belonged to friends or family members.

Police also found the rifle, clothing and a cell phone that belonged to the suspect as part of the investigation.

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