What Started as a Boys' Trip Ended in a Family Massacre

5 family members killed by escaped convict in Texas identified
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2022 7:30 AM CDT
What Started as a Boys' Trip Ended in a Family Massacre
This undated photo provided by the family via Houston Northwest Church shows, from left to right, Carson Collins, Hudson Collins and Waylon Collins, who authorities believe were all killed by Gonzalo Lopez, 46, a convicted murderer who escaped from prison.   (Family Photo/Courtesy of Houston Northwest Church via AP)

"This is the worst that you can possibly imagine. It doesn’t get any worse." So said Andy Kahan of Crime Stoppers Houston in asking the public to donate to a GoFundMe campaign set up to cover the funeral costs of four boys—three brothers and their cousin—and their grandfather, who were murdered by a prison escapee in Texas. Waylon Collins, 18; Karson Collins, 16; Hudson Collins, 11; and their cousin Bryson Collins, also 11, on Thursday arrived with their grandfather at the family ranch northwest of Houston for what the Guardian terms "a southern boy’s dream: shooting guns, taking boats on big ponds and fishing." Within hours, the boys and grandfather Mark Collins were dead at the hands of Gonzalo Lopez, who had escaped from a prison bus three weeks prior.

CNN reports the Collins family ranch was within the perimeter police had been searching, and the Guardian reports authorities looking for Lopez had visited the ranch a number of times during their search. Family friend David Crain said investigators found that Lopez had broken into a neighboring property on Monday, but it's possible Mark Collins wasn't made aware of that. The Washington Post reports it's unclear whether Lopez was in the Centerville ranch when the family arrived or came upon them later. Lopez was later killed in a shootout.

NBC News reports a statement that was shared by relatives reads, "These precious people who loved and were loved by so many will never be forgotten. The impact on their family and friends cannot be overstated." ABC13 notes Waylon Collins had graduated high school just days before he was murdered. The GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $260,000 as of this writing. (More murder stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.