Several arrests were made when the San Jacinto County mass murder suspect was taken into custody on Tuesday, including that of his domestic partner, District Attorney Todd Dillon said in an update on Wednesday.
Francisco Oropeza was captured at about 6:15 p.m. in Cut and Shoot, Texas, a city in Montgomery County, about 11 miles from the crime scene. According to officials, he was found inside a home, hiding in a closet underneath a pile of laundry.
Oropeza is accused of shooting and killing five of his neighbors, including a 3rd grader, in a San Jacinto County home.
The arrest came shortly after officials announced an increased reward for information that led to Oropeza’s capture. The U.S. Marshals added $20,000 on Tuesday after the FBI offered $25,000, multi-county Crime Stoppers offered $5,000, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott added $50,000 for a combined $100,000 reward.
Reporters looked at Montgomery County Jail system records and found that a woman by the name of Divimara Lamar Nava was arrested Tuesday for hindering apprehension of a felon. According to Dillon, she was at the scene when Oropeza was arrested and is accused of helping him this week.
She is being held on a $250,000 bond, according to the sheriff’s office.
Nava is Oropeza’s domestic partner but not his wife, a source involved in the investigation told ABC News.
Reporters obtained details of a protective order she attempted to file against Oropeza last summer.
Nava accused him of hitting her, smashing her skull against gravel, and threatening to tie her to his truck and drag her to death. This all happened in front of one of her kids, documents say.
Nava said she suffered a fractured skull and multiple broken bones, but neither party went to court, so the judge never signed a permanent order.
Dillon told us early Wednesday morning that one of Oropeza’s friends or acquaintances was booked into the San Jacinto County Jail Tuesday night on possession of marijuana charges. He is suspected of helping Oropeza flee the neighborhood where the crime took place. Dillon said additional charges will be filed.
In an update Wednesday afternoon from San Jacinto County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace, we know that man is Domingo Castilla.
Oropeza himself had not been hiding in the house he was eventually found in the entire time.
“I believe he thought he was in a safe spot,” Deputy Sheriff Tim Kean said.
The deputy sheriff confirmed it was Oropeza who was spotted on Monday on Highway 105 East near Security Landfill Road.
“We did confirm that was him on foot running, but we lost track of him. That was not a false alarm, that was him,” Kean said.
Authorities said Oropeza had a cellphone with him when he was found and that the people he had been contacting never left the area.
“Anybody that helped this maniac definitely has some kind of issues as far as I’m concerned,” Kean said.
The search for him began on Saturday in Cleveland, Texas, after the shooting unfolded on Friday evening when neighbors asked Oropeza to stop shooting his AR-15 in his yard because a newborn was trying to sleep, authorities said.
Kean said a patrol unit was already in the area responding to an aggravated robbery call. When they got the call about the disturbance regarding Oropeza, they had to leave the aggravated robbery call. According to Kean, authorities’ response time was 14 minutes.
“The aggravated robbery trumps the guy shooting in the yard at the time. We do what we can with what we have,” Kean said.
Oropeza is being held in the San Jacinto County Jail on a $7.5 million bond on five murder charges, according to the district attorney. Officials are looking at capital murder as a possibility.
Eyewitness News asked why capital murder had not been filed, to which Dillon said that the benefit to that would be no bond.