CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A man still wanted in connection with the 2003 sniper murders in the Charleston area remains at large, but prosecutors still have hopes of arresting him.
Gilberto "Tito" Lopez, whose drug activities tied him to the case of Shawn Lester, did not attend a hearing in Kanawha Circuit Court Wednesday. But Circuit Judge Duke Bloom agreed to continue his case.
Bloom conferred at the bench with Assistant Prosecutor Don Morris and Lt. Steve Cooper of the Charleston Police Department. But after the hearing they did not discuss that conversation.
They would not talk about efforts to apprehend Lopez and said, "If we knew exactly where he is, we'd have him in custody."
Bloom last held a hearing in Lopez's case in September. At that time, Cooper told the judge Lopez was known to be making border crossings from Texas into Mexico. He said police continue to search for him, including in the Charleston area.
Witnesses have said Lopez was the owner of a large quantity of rare pink methamphetamine stuffed into an engine block and trusted to Lester. There has been testimony that the murders of the three sniper victims were in retaliation for the theft of those drugs.