Lubbock Serial Rape Suspect Commits Suicide in Midland Jail - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/7/07

Lubbock Serial Rape Suspect Commits Suicide in Midland Jail

The man suspected of raping women in both Lubbock and Midland has committed suicide in the Midland County Jail. Lubbock Police confirms Jose Luis Lopez, 47, hung himself in his jail cell Friday morning.

At approximately 11:42 a.m., a jailer with the Midland County Sheriff's Office was in the separation area of the Midland Central Detention Center doing a cell check, and was unable to see Lopez in his cell. He entered the cell and found Lopez hanging in his shower by a piece of blanket. Midland EMS and other medical personnel at the jail were unable to revive Lopez. At 12:25 p.m., a justice of the peace pronounced Lopez dead. He will be returned to Lubbock for autopsy.

Texas Rangers and Investigators from the Midland County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division are conduction an investigation into the apparent suicide.

Just before 7 p.m. Thursday, a tip led Lubbock Police, US Marshals and the Midland SWAT team  to the Economy Inn on Wall Street in Midland. There, SWAT officers found Lopez locked in the bathroom. 

The arrest came just one day after NewsChannel 11 alerted you that Lubbock police were searching for Lopez. He was suspected of raping two women in Lubbock County, and two more in Midland.

In one case, Lopez was accused of entering the victim's northwest Lubbock home and holding a knife to her throat. Police used DNA evidence from the scene to link Lopez to that crime. 

Authorities believe Lopez was connected to as many as seven rapes in the last decade. 

NewsChannel 11 also learned that Lopez was sentenced to 10 years in prison for breaking into a Lubbock apartment in 1986. In that case, the woman shot Lopez in the face.

Stay with NewsChannel 11 and KCBD.com for the latest on this developing story.

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