‘This doesn’t happen here’: Centerville mourns the loss of a grandfather, 4 grandchildren

On Thursday June 2 the Collins lost five family members.
On Thursday June 2 the Collins lost five family members.(Hope Merritt)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 8:41 PM CDT
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CENTERVILLE, Texas (KBTX) -The people of Centerville are mourning the loss of five members of the Collins family who were in town visiting their family ranch.

A Friday news conference with Crime Stoppers of Houston and the family’s pastor identified the victims as 66-year-old grandfather Mark Collins and his grandsons, brothers Waylon, 18, Carson, 16, and Hudson, 11, along with their 11-year-old cousin Bryson.

Authorities said the family got to their vacation home on Thursday, June 2. They were spotted that morning but were silent towards their other family members later on in the day. This led those other family members to call law enforcement for a welfare check.

Janice Rose and her husband live down the road from the Collins’ vacation home. She said she could never imagine something like this tragedy happening in the small town of Centerville.

“We met the family maybe once or twice,” said Rose. “I just don’t think they would have come and stayed here if they knew Lopez was potentially in the area. It’s just so scary what can happen nowadays. This doesn’t happen here.”

Rose said she and her husband have been on high security since Lopez escaped on May 12.

“We used to feel safe,” Rose said. “Now, I just don’t know what to feel. I want my town to get back to ‘normal’.”

People passing through Centerville, like Teresa Baker, said they couldn’t understand why someone would go after a family like Lopez did.

“I know there are bad people out there. I still tell my kids there are bad people,” said Baker. “But yes, something like this happening in such a small town, it’s just.... unbelievable. You just don’t think it’ll happen here.”

Representatives from the Collins family said if anyone would like to make a donation, you can donate to their Go Fund Me. Baker said she is keeping the family of the victims in her thoughts.

“My heart is with you, my prayers are with you and I’m so sorry they’re having to deal with this, I can’t make sense of why [Lopez] would do the things that he did,” Baker said.

Rose said while she feels safer now, she can’t help but think of the tragedy and how it could have been avoided.

“I just feel very sorry for the family that lost the five people and I wish that hadn’t have happened if they just caught him well a half a day sooner it probably wouldn’t have happened but we’ll have to ask the good Lord to take care of them,” Rose said.

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