Body of Missing Levelland Man Found, Arrest Made for Murder

LUBBOCK, TX - Court records on Wednesday said an arrest warrant was issued for Oscar Diaz Cerna, 23, of Lubbock for murder related to the body of a man that was found at 44th Street and Magnolia Avenue. 

Police waited until Wednesday afternoon to publicly confirmed the name of the victim. But on Wednesday morning the arrest warrant went into depth about Jacob Wayne Duffee, 30, of Levelland.  Duffee was Cerna’s boss, according to court records. 

Duffee was last seen on September 29.  His family and Levelland Police went public with a request for help.  

On October 8, Levelland Police announced that Duffee’s truck was found in Lubbock County.   But there was no sign of Duffee.

On Wednesday, Duffee’s family said police confirmed Duffee was the one found at 44th and Magnolia.  He was identified through fingerprints, according to the family.  

A woman came forward to tell police on Tuesday, according to court records, that Cerna confessed to one of his family members about shooting a man in the face.  Police were told the shooting happened about a month ago. 

Police were told the victim’s body was at first in a bathtub in a Central Lubbock residence, but then later it was put in a shallow grave near 50th and Martin Luther King Boulevard, according to court records.  The gun was thrown into a pond.

“Oscar Diaz Cerna had told [another man] he had just killed his boss,” court records said. Cerna asked a family member to help dispose of the body. 

Cerna’s dad, Oscar P. Cerna, 41, was arrested Wednesday for tampering with evidence. 

“[Police] went to the area where [Oscar P. Cerna] stated the body had been disposed of,” court records said.  “A short while later [an officer] called and advised … that a body had been located at 44th Street and Magnolia in a water drainage culvert.”

Police then confronted Oscar Diaz Cerna on Tuesday.  

“Oscar Diaz Cerna … did state he had been with Jacob Duffee before his disappearance but denied killing him,” court records said. 

He admitted having an argument with Duffee at his apartment, but that Duffee left after that argument.  

At some point during his conversation with police, Oscar Diaz Cerna stopped answering questions and left the police department.  Police then requested an arrest warrant.  Cerna was arrested Tuesday evening. 

Related Story: Watch Replay: LPD Press Conference, Details on Duffee Murder Case

Related Story: The Search Ends for Jacob Duffee, Family Remembers Him as a Loving Son

The following is a written statement from Lubbock Police issued Wednesday morning: 

LPD Officers Investigating Murder
 
(LUBBOCK, TX) – Investigators with the Lubbock Police Department Persons Crime Unit are investigating a murder after a body was found hidden in the area of 44th Street and Magnolia Avenue Tuesday evening.
 
On October 31st, investigators received a tip that a deceased male was possibly in the area of 5200 Magnolia. Around 5p.m. Tuesday night, after narrowing down the search, the deceased male was located.
 
At this time the male victim has not been positively identified by the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office. Right now it is unclear how long the deceased male had been hidden in the area.
 
During Tuesday’s investigation, LPD investigators were able to secure a murder warrant for 23-year-old Oscar Diaz Cerna. He is currently booked in the Lubbock County Detention Center for murder.
 
This case remains under investigation by the Lubbock Police Department Persons Crime Unit.

 


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