Manhunt ends: Murder suspect captured hiding at relative’s home in Cut and Shoot

Francisco Oropeza

Suspected killer Francisco Oropeza is behind bars. He was captured Tuesday afternoon hiding out in a relative’s home in Cut and Shoot, in the neighboring Montgomery County, Texas, about four miles west of the Trails End Subdivision home where he fatally shot five people in the early morning hours of Saturday.

“The bottom line is we now have this man in custody. He was caught hiding in a closet underneath some laundry. They effectively made the arrest. He is uninjured and is currently being taken to my facility in Coldspring,” said San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers at a press conference held Tuesday evening at the 105 Speedway, which in recent days had become the headquarters and command center for the 225-plus law enforcement personnel from a dozen or more agencies.

Oropeza’s arrest came after the FBI received a tip through its tip line. Special Agent Jimmy Paul with the FBI Houston Field Office praised the tipster for clueing in law enforcement to Oropeza’s hideout.

“Thank you to the person who had the courage to call in this tip. We always said it wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ he would be captured, and we’re glad this evening was that ‘when’ we’ve all been waiting for,” said Paul, adding, “I want to thank the FBI personnel and law enforcement agencies who worked nonstop to bring this person to justice, to bring justice to the victims and to bring a sense of security for the residents. This is basically what we do. We show up and bring the adequate resources.”

Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Joe Ruiz de Chavez called the murders an “atrocious crime that devastated this community and the country.” He shared that family members and associates of Oropeza, not only in the Houston area, but across the country, were contacted during the investigation as they tried to develop leads.

In the end it was a tip that ended the manhunt. Capers said the media helped by continuing to get the message out about Oropeza’s crimes and the $80,000 reward that was being offered through the FBI.

Capers said that the victims’ families should be able to rest a little easier knowing that Oropeza is behind bars.

“He will live out his life behind bars,” he said.

Capers was asked about a protective order that was filed in San Jacinto County in 2022 by Oropeza’s wife, though he was never prosecuted.

“We filed charges on him in 2022. To the best of my knowledge, we got a warrant on him. The constable went to serve him in another county and could never make contact with the subject. A few days later, the victim (Oropeza’s wife) went to our county prosecutor and filed a non-prosecution statement,” the sheriff said.

Paul, Ruiz de Chavez and Capers deflected some questions from the media about people who were at the home at the time of the arrest and if charges will be filed against those who were helping him hide from authorities. They said the investigation is still ongoing and they were unable to comment at this time.

To view the press conference, click here:

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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