Homicide ruled in deaths of Houston-area grandfather and his 4 grandsons in Centerville

Gonzalo Lopez, the inmate who escaped from a prison transport bus in May, is believed to have killed the family.

Erica Simon Image
Thursday, June 9, 2022
Grandfather, 4 grandsons died of gunshot, stab wounds, autopsy shows
Mark Collins, 66, and his four grandsons, who ranged in age from 11 to 18, died of gunshot and stab wounds, Leon County autopsies showed.

CENTERVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- A week after law enforcement discovered the bodies of a Houston-area grandfather and his four young grandsons, medical examiners disclosed that all five died of gunshot and stab wounds.

Homicide was ruled as the manner of death for Mark Collins and his grandsons - Waylon, Carson, Hudson, and Bryson Collins, according to the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas.

Authorities believe their deaths are tied to inmate Gonzalo Lopez's flight from the law after he broke free from a prison transport bus last month. It's believed that Lopez broke into several homes in Leon County, which is halfway between Houston and Dallas, including a family ranch belonging to the Collins.

A law enforcement source told Eyewitness News that Lopez's fingerprints were found at the Collins' home.

That connection was the driving force behind investigators returning to the home in Centerville. Several agencies, including lead investigators the Texas Rangers, performed a walkthrough and further investigated what may have happened at the ranch.

As for the Collins' autopsies, medical examiners gave distinguishing remarks for three of the victims. Mark, 66, died of a gunshot wound of the abdomen and sharp force injuries, documentation showed.

Waylon, 18, a recent Tomball High School grad, also had sharp force injuries but suffered a gunshot wound of the back. Bryson, one of two 11-year-olds killed, died of a stab wound of the back.

"Gunshot wounds and stab wounds" were listed for the deaths of 16-year-old Carson and 11-year-old Hudson.

Carson, Hudson, and Waylon were brothers. Bryson was their cousin.

All five people had their date of death listed as June 2, 2022.

Visitation for the Collins family is set for Friday at Houston Northwest Church, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The family members will then be laid to rest Saturday morning.

SEE ALSO: Texas prison officials suspend inmate transports as Gonzalo Lopez's escape under review

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