LUBBOCK, Texas — Celestino H. Rodriguez, 79, was last seen on August 3 at 10:00 a.m. His body was found on August 15 in Southern Hale County.
Look below for a list of related story links.
According to an arrest warrant, Brett Anthony Garza, 33, and Heather Mary Casias, 35, made a plan to rob Rodriguez.
The warrant said Casias knew Rodriguez for a few months, and she knew Rodriguez received his government check for the month of August. The plan, according to the warrant, was to rob him of his money and his car.
The warrant said she wanted to “get him (Rodriguez) and get him good.” Garza recruited David Wayne Hampton to help with the robbery.
Casias then lured Rodriguez to a pre-arranged location, according to the warrant, where Garza and Hampton were waiting.
“Hampton and Garza grabbed Rodriguez once they arrived at the location and assaulted Rodriguez while Casias watched,” the warrant said. “During this assault on Rodriguez, Hampton and Garza realized that Rodriguez was unresponsive and a short time later was no longer alive.”
Casias, Hampton and Garza moved the body to a secluded location – a cotton field in Western Lubbock County. The warrant lists 8321 County Road 6500 as the location of the crime of murder.
The warrant said they took his wallet, his debit card and his car. Casias knew the PIN number of the debit card and gave it to Hampton and Garza, the warrant said. The card was used within four hours of when Rodriguez was last seen alive.
Approximately August 4
Casias was questioned by law enforcement about the disappearance of Rodriguez. The warrant said she was worried that the body might be found. She and Garza decided to move the body. Garza and James Andrew Anderson loaded the body into a vehicle and drove to Abernathy. Anderson contacted a friend, Freddie Joe Salinas, 39.
The three then took the body to a secluded location – more specifically, County Road 315 and County Road K in Hale County.
Slaton Police issued a Silver Alert for Rodriguez. According to the alert, officials said Rodriguez was diagnosed with a cognitive impairment. The alert also included a description of his 2014 Chrysler 200.
At about 5:00 p.m., a Milam County Sheriff’s Deputy located the vehicle in a wooded area. A shoe and a cane were located in the vehicle, but at that point law enforcement did not yet know what happened to Rodriguez.
Milam County deputies were asked to check a man walking along the side of a road. They found Toby Daughtry, according to the warrant. He wanted to talk to them about a stolen car. That led officers to Amanda Blagburn and David Hampton.
Daughtry claimed he got the car from Hampton in Lubbock. Blagburn told officers she got a message from Hampton to get rid of the car. Hampton told her that the car was involved in something bad.
Blagburn told officers she wiped down the inside of the car to remove fingerprints.
Police named Garza and Hampton publicly as “persons of interest.” Criminal charges were not yet publicly announced against the two.
Felony warrants were announced publicly by LPD for Garza and Hampton. Both were charged with debit card abuse.
Police announced the Kerby and Wade Law Offices in Lubbock offered a $1,500 reward in in addition to a Crime Line reward for a $2,000 total in the case.
Police released an image of a man seen using Rodriguez’s debit card. Police said the card was used on August 4 at a store in the 5000 block of 34th Street.
Toby Daughtry was taken into custody around 1:30 p.m. in the 4900 block of 8th Street in Lubbock for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Police announced the arrest of Blagburn in the early evening. Later, Brett Garza was arrested at a residence in the 3000 block of 49th Street at about 10:00 pm.
Hampton turned himself in and was arrested in Abilene for credit card abuse. He would later be charged with murder.
Garza was arrested for credit card abuse. He also would later be charged with murder. According to the warrant, he agreed to lead investigators to the location of the body. The body was found that night at about 10:45 p.m.
Police announced in the morning that a body was found in Hale County. Later, police said in the afternoon that it was positively identified as Rodriguez.
Police announced that an arrest warrant was issued for Heather Casias and asked for the public’s help to find her.
An arrest warrant was made public which provided new details to the public.
Salinas was located and arrested. Police announced Anderson was already in custody in Hale County for an unrelated charge. Casias, the only wanted suspect left, was located early in the evening and arrested.
The following are story links to ongoing coverage on EverythingLubbock.com
LPD says Heather Casias arrested – August 19
Hampton arrested, related to missing man – August 15
Silver Alert for missing Slaton man, age 79 – August 5