San Jacinto Co. murder suspect not at Montgomery Co. landfill after tip of possible sighting

Charly Edsitty Image
Monday, May 1, 2023
Man matching murder suspect's description seen in Montgomery Co.
There's a heavy presence around Highway 105 East near Security Landfill Road in Montgomery County, so deputies are asking neighbors to avoid the area.

CLEVELAND, Texas (KTRK) -- On Monday, two spottings of a man that matched the description of the suspect accused of gunning down his neighbors in San Jacinto County over the weekend were allegedly seen in Montgomery County. After the first sighting, the area was investigated, and Francisco Oropesa was not found, deputies say. The second sighting happened about 4 miles from the first report, which prompted Conroe ISD schools to secure several campuses, but Oropesa was again not found.

The video above is about the first reported sighting of the mass shooting suspect.

At about 11 a.m., there was a heavy police presence around Highway 105 East near Security Landfill Road, the sheriff's office tweeted.

It started when an employee at the landfill nearby saw a Hispanic man walking near the wood line and thought it might have been Oropesa since the sighting was unusual, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

After deputies, K-9 units, and air units searched the area, and all persons found there were investigated, the sheriff's office reported that none were Oropesa.

Oropesa is accused of shooting and killing five people, including a Northside Elementary student, on Friday night after he was asked to stop shooting his gun. On Monday, the search for the suspect entered its third day.

Later in the afternoon, a second reported spotting of a man who matched Oropesa's description on FM 2090 and Crocket Martin prompted Conroe ISD schools to secure several campuses.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office initially said there was no confirmation that the sighting was Oropesa. In an update at 4:35 p.m., the sheriff's office said, "All persons in the area were investigated, and none were found to be Oropesa."

SEE MORE: Several Conroe ISD schools secure campuses amid manhunt for mass shooting suspect Francisco Oropesa

The Montgomery Sheriff's Office said Francisco Oropesa, the Cleveland, TX mass shooting suspect, was possibly spotted in the area.

If you see someone who looks like Oropesa, you are urged to call 911.

Police described him to be 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighs about 160 pounds, and has a distinct tattoo of a woman on his arm.

ABC13 reporter Charly Edsitty spoke to Principal Pete Armstrong, who had tears in his eyes as he stopped at the growing memorial outside the school.

Armstrong said Monday was going to be a very tough day for all students and staff. There will be counselors on campus to help those struggling with the loss of their classmate, who was identified as 3rd-grade student, Daniel Enrique Lazo Guzman.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Deputies warned Francisco Oropeza, Cleveland mass shooting suspect, about shooting from his yard

Daniel Enrique was among the five people shot and killed over the weekend in an incident that investigators say was over a noise dispute between neighbors. At least 10 people were inside the home at the time.

The other four victims were three women -- ages 21, 25, and 31 -- and an 18-year-old man. All were from Honduras.

Below is a photo of 31-year-old Obdulia Molina Rivera.

An $80,000 reward is now being offered in the arrest of Oropesa.

The massive search is intensifying with more law enforcement joining in. San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers spoke about what's to come.

"We had over 150 policemen on Sunday looking for the suspect. Today, it's well over 200, and more officers are coming in to help us find this suspect. It is my number one priority to find him, as it is everybody that's out here looking for him," Capers said.

Investigators found Oropesa's clothing and cell phone ditched in a wooded area over the weekend.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Sonia Guzman and Daniel Enrique. Family members tell ABC13 that they want to use that money to send the victims back to Honduras to be buried.

For news updates, follow Charly Edsitty on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.