Fourth Suspect Arrested in Disappearance of Celestino Rodriguez
Updated 08/15/19 6:20 p.m.
On Thursday, August 15, at around 2:15 p.m., David Wayne Hampton was taken into custody after he surrendered himself at the Police Headquarters Building in Abilene.
Hampton was transported to the Taylor County Detention Center and booked on the felony Debit/Credit Card Abuse warrant. He was wanted in relation to the disappearance of Celestino Rodriguez of Slaton.
The daughter of 79-year-old Celestino Rodriguez of Slaton reported him missing to authorities on August 4th, having last seen him on August 3rd. Since then, Lubbock and Slaton county law enforcement, as well as Texas Rangers, have been searching for the elderly man.
KAMC News uncovered new details of an arrest warrant released Thursday that helps explain what may have happened to Rodriguez.
According to Lubbock police, Celestino’s vehicle was found abandoned on August 7th in Milam County near Milano, Texas. That's nearly six hours away from Slaton.
Authorities in Milam County say they questioned 39-year-old Toby Daughtry in connection to the abandoned vehicle. He told them that he and a woman named Amanda Blagburn, 33, received the car from 53-year-old David Wayne Hampton on August 3rd, the same day Celestino disappeared.
Daughtry went on to say that Hampton told him he stole the car from Celestino and left him "out in the country in a field" after beating him up. Four days later on August 7th, Daughtry said that he and Blagburn abandoned Celestino’s Chrysler 200 in some vegetation in Milam County and tried wiping the vehicle for prints.
On Wednesday, August 14th, an arrest warrant was issued for Daughtry, and he was apprehended in the 4900 block of 8th Street in Lubbock at around 1:30 p.m. Hours later at 8:30 p.m., Amanda Blagburn was also taken into custody at the Burger King at University Avenue and Loop 289.
So far, Blagburn and Daughtry have only been charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.
Since Celestino’s disappearance, three other men have been named persons of interest: 33-year-old Brett Garza, 53-year-old David Wayne Hampton, and a man whose identity has not been revealed.
On August 12th, Lubbock police issued felony arrest warrants for Garza and Hampton, accusing them of potential Debit/Credit Card Abuse of an Elderly Individual 65 Years of Age or Older.
Police said they located Garza at a residence in the 3000 block of 49th Street on the night of August 14th and arrested him at about 10 p.m. They only identified suspect left to apprehend is Hampton.
If you have any information on his whereabouts, you’re asked to call the Crime Line at 741-1000.