CPS takes custody of child from woman charged with murder of Celestino Rodriguez

Local News

Image of Heather Marie Casias provided by Lubbock Police

LUBBOCK, Texas — Children’s Protective Services took temporary custody of a 3-year-old child from Heather Casias, 35, who is the woman recently charged with the murder of Celestino Rodriguez, 79.

CPS had already been involved with the family and the child was supposed to be in the care of a grandparent, not Casias. A judge on Friday granted the request from CPS to take the child. Police found and arrested Casias for murder on the following Monday.

A civil court hearing on the care of the child is scheduled for August 27.

Image of Celestino Rodriguez provided by family

Ongoing coverage – the murder of Celestino Rodriguez

Court records said the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services received a report of neglectful supervision of the little girl.

“The report had stated that on August 3, 2019 Heather Casias was high and had [the little girl] under her care and in an unsafe situation,” court records said. The report said Casias was tracked down to a motel for questioning about Rodriguez who at that point was a missing person.

“[Celestino] Rodriguez was last seen with Heather Casias at a game room on 34th Street in Lubbock,” the CPS request said.

Court records, specifically the CPS request to take custody, also said, “The report stated that Heather was in a motel room with [the girl] and an unknown male, and both Heather and the unknown male were high on methamphetamines.”

The CPS request goes on to later describe the unknown male as Brett Garza. Garza was also charged with murder.

“The report stated that the unknown male in Heather’s room had been using missing Celestino Rodriguez’s credit card and emptied his bank account. The report stated that a silver alert has been issue[d] by [the] Lubbock Police Department for Celestino Rodriguez.”

“Rodriguez was last seen with Heather Casias at a game room on 34th Street in Lubbock,” the CPS request said.

Image of Celestino Rodriguez provided by family

The request went on to say, “The Lubbock Police Department was contacted and did come to the hotel room to do a search for the missing Celestino Rodriguez.” CPS was not told specifically if police searched the room where Casias was staying.

The CPS request said drugs were out in the open in the room and the girl was seen with Casias and Garza in the hotel. It also said the room smelled like “dope smoke and marijuana.”

On Friday, August 16, CPS received drug test results for the little girl and they showed the girl was positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines.

COURT RECORDS

On August 7, police found Casias and arrested her for a previous warrant for trespassing. A judge ordered her to spend six days in jail for that warrant.

CPS made contact with Casias in jail on August 8.

Images of Heather Casias and Brett Garza from Lubbock Co. Detention Center

“She [Casias] stated that she was in a hotel with Brett Garza but that there was not any children in the room. She stated that law enforcement came to the room and asked if she had seen missing Celestino Rodriguez and she had told him her last known whereabouts for him.”

On Friday, August 16, CPS received drug test results for the little girl and they showed the girl was positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines.

Back in November 2015, the little girl had tested positive for methamphetamines and marijuana. CPS resolved its previous case with the little girl by placing her with a different family member. In the current case, CPS said the child cannot go to the family because “they would continue to allow Heather Casias to have access.”

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CORRECTION: Casias was located and arrested on Monday (August 19).

Below is a portion of the court record with the name of the child edited out by EverythingLubbock.com


ALLEGATIONS

On August 7, 2019 the Department of Family and Protective Services received a report regarding Neglectful Supervision of XXXXXX Casias. The report had stated that on August 3, 2019 Heather Casias was high and had XXXXXX Casias under her care and in an unsafe situation. The report stated that Heather Casias was tracked down to xxxxx Motel in order to question Heather about missing Celestino Rodriguez. The report stated that Heather was in a motel room with XXXXXX and an unknown male, and both Heather and the unknown male were high on methamphetamines. The report stated that Heather was struggling to speak and has a history of methamphetamines use. The report stated that XXXXXX was supposed to be in the grandparent’s care, but the grandparent was in the hospital for dialysis. The report stated that the unknown male in Heather’s room had been using missing Celestino Rodriguez’s credit card and emptied his bank account. The report stated that a silver alert has been issues by Lubbock Police Department for Celestino Rodriguez.

FACTS NECESSITATING REMOVAL

On August 7, 2019 Investigator Williams and Supervisor Miller made contact with the reporter via telephone. The reporter had stated that Heather Casias had a relationship with missing Celestino Rodriguez, and that Celestino Rodriguez was last seen with Heather Casias at a game room on 34th Street in Lubbock, Texas. The reporter stated that Heather Casias had a child with her and that the reporter believed that the maternal grandmother had custody of that child. The reporter stated that Heather Casias and her boyfriend named Brett were found at the xxxxx Motel with a child. The reporter stated that Heather and Brett were so high and that drugs were seen on the table. The reporter stated that the Lubbock Police Department was contacted and did come to the hotel room to do a search for the missing Celestino Rodriguez, but the reporter was unsure if they actually searched the motel room. The reporter stated that Heather’s boyfriend Brett was using Celestino Rodriguez’s credit cards, and was also seen with what looked to be a gun. The reporter stated that there was a meth pipe and beer cans seen in the motel room. The reporter had stated that Heather and Brett could not even talk and that it smelt like dope smoke and marijuana in the motel room.

On August 7, 2019 Investigator Williams made contact with the receptionist at the xxxxx Motel. The receptionist stated that Room 114 was booked under the name Brett Garza on August 4, 2019 and that a small little girl was observed with him and another women.

On August 7, 2019 Investigator Williams made contact with xxxxx xxxxx whom is the paternal grandmother to Heather Casias oldest three children. She had stated that Heather Casias was living at her mother’s home at xxxx Avenue J Lubbock, Texas. She stated that XXXXXX is currently with her aunt named xxxxx. She stated that she is unable to speak about this and hung up the telephone.

On August 7, 2019 Investigator Williams and Investigator Ortiz attempted to make contact with Heather Casias at xxxx Avenue J Lubbock, Texas. A man by the name of Jerry stated that he was Heather’s father. He stated that Heather was not at the home and he had not seen Heather or XXXXXX today. He stated that XXXXXX lives with her sisters at their grandparent’s house.

On August 7, 2019 Investigator Williams made contact with the Lubbock Anti-Gang Force. The officer had stated that Heather has a warrant out and they are currently looking for her as well as a man associated with her named Brett Garza. The officer advised Investigator Williams not to approach either Heather Casias or Brett Garza if they are located. The officer provided Investigator Williams with the information to call him if Heather or Brett is found.

On August 7, 2019 Investigator Williams received a telephone call from the Lubbock Anti-Gang Force stated that Heather was arrested at her parents’ house at xxxx Avenue J Lubbock, Texas. He had stated that they had asked Jerry if Heather was in the home and he had stated that she was not. He stated that they got into the home and looked in the home and there was a locked bedroom. He stated that Jerry had stated that they did not have a key to that bedroom. He stated that they walked into the bathroom which led to the bedroom and the bedroom door was open and Heather was laying on the bed. He stated that they did not observe any children in the home, but there was a child toilet in the home which was observed with human feces.
On August 7, 2019 Investigator Williams made contact at xxxx 85th Street in Lubbock, Texas. The man whom answered the door stated that Heather Casias oldest three children live at the home and that XXXXXX is currently with Heather’s sister named xxxx.

On August 8, 2019 Investigator Williams made contact with xxxxx via telephone. She stated that she currently has XXXXXX and she lives with her primary. She stated that she has had XXXXXX for about three days now.

On August 8, 2019 Investigator Williams made contact with xxxxx via telephone. She stated that Heather Casias was last living with her mother at 3702 Avenue J last she knew. She stated that XXXXXX goes back and forth between her aunt xxxxx, and her aunt xxxxx and herself. She stated that XXXXXX gets to see her mother but it is always supervised.

On August 8, 2019 Investigator Williams made contact with xxxxxx and XXXXXX Casias at xxxx 10th Street. xxxxx stated that XXXXXX resided with her for about the first year of her life. She stated that then she moved with California and XXXXXX resided with her grandparents. She stated that she has had XXXXXX for about three days and had picked her up from xxxxx’s home. She stated that Heather pops up every now and then and wants to see XXXXXX. She stated that XXXXXX saw Heather yesterday. xxxxx had agreed to take XXXXXX in for a drug test.


On August 8, 2019 Investigator Williams made contact with Heather Casias oldest daughter xxxxx. She stated that her grandmother xxxxx and xxxxx, or her aunt xxxx will supervise XXXXXX with her mother Heather. She stated that it really depends on everybody’s schedule on who XXXXXX is with. She stated that XXXXXX stays with herself, her aunt xxxxx and her grandmother xxxxxx.

On August 8, 2019 Investigator Williams made contact with Heather Casias at the Lubbock County Detention Center. Heather had stated that XXXXXX lives primarily with xxxxx. She stated that she sees XXXXXX about three times a week. She stated that the last time she saw her was two days ago. She stated that she is never unsupervised with XXXXXX and that her sister xxxxx, her daughter or xxxxx will supervisor her with XXXXXX. She stated that she is in jail due to an old warrant and that her boyfriend is going to bail her out. She stated that she did not want to disclose her boyfriend’s information. Investigator Williams asked if her boyfriend’s name was Brett Garza and she stated yes. She stated that she was in a hotel with Brett Garza but that there was not any children in the room. She stated that law enforcement came to the room and asked if she had seen missing Celestino Rodriguez and she had told him her last known whereabouts for him. She stated that Law Enforcement did not ever step into her room. She stated that she used marijuana twice a week and methamphetamines twice a week. She stated that she has been using methamphetamines and marijuana for around a year. She stated that she no longer would like to speak with Investigator Williams without her attorney present and then proceeded to get up and walk to the door. Investigator Williams provided a business card and a parent’s guide to Heather.

On August 16, 2019 Investigator Williams received drug test results for XXXXXX Casias. XXXXXX was positive for amphetamines at a level of 396 and methamphetamines at a level of 12,074.

Image of Celestino Rodriguez provided by family

Ongoing coverage – the murder of Celestino Rodriguez

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