Warrant: Missing Slaton man may have been beaten, car stolen
Update from Lubbock police, 2:30 p.m. Thursday:
David Hampton, 54, was taken into custody in Abilene by the Abilene Police Department Thursday afternoon.
Investigators report Brett Garza, 33, and Hampton have been arrested and charged with credit card abuse of an elder.
An investigator with the Slaton Police Department determined Celestino Rodriquez's debit card had been used at numerous locations in Lubbock, including Walmart, Dollar General and United Market Street.
Police report more than $1,000 was charged to the card. Surveillance video obtained by police shows Garza and Hampton appear to be working together and benefit from the unauthorized use of the debit card.
Based on video footage, Garza and Hampton are wearing the same clothing matching the description and are seen driving a light tan colored Suburban, identified as Garza's girlfriend's, according to police.
Police identify Garza as the driver during many of the unauthorized transactions.
Garza and Hampton are each held on $75,000 bonds.
Rodriguez has not been located.
Update 10:00 a.m. Thursday:
A man questioned about a stolen car told investigators he got it from a man who said who said he stole it from an old man, beat him, and left him in a field, according to a warrant.
Celestino Rodriguez, 79, has been missing since August 3. Deputies with the Milam County Sheriff's Office got a tip and found Rodriguez's abandoned vehicle between Gauss and Branchville in an area with tall vegetation. A shoe and cane believed to belong to Rodriguez were found inside. The vehicle was later confirmed to be his.
According to the arrest warrant, investigators got a sworn statement from a witness who told them he was at the residence of Toby Daughtry, who had a white Chrysler 200 with handicap tags in his backyard. The witness said Daughtry told him he got the vehicle from someone who stole it from an old man after beating him and leaving him in a field. When deputies questioned Daughtry, he gave them the name David Hampton.
Daughtry also said he worked with Amanda Blagburn to get rid of the vehicle. He said she was in contact with Hampton, who told her the car was connected to "something bad." Daughtry said Blagburn wiped the car down to hide any fingerprints. The warrant indicates Blagburn confirmed all of this with investigators.
According to the warrant, Daughtry told investigators he had gotten the car from Hampton in Lubbock, who told him about the beating. Daughtry believed a man named Brett Garza was involved with Hampton in the incident.
Hampton and Garza were announced as suspects in Rodriguez's disappearance last weekend after police say they used the victim's debit card at numerous Lubbock businesses.
Garza was arrested late Wednesday night in Lubbock. Police say they are still looking for Hampton but they believe he is in Lubbock. If you have information, call Crime Line: (806) 741-1000.
Update 9:03 p.m. Wednesday: Police have arrested Amanda Blagburn in the disappearance of 79-year-old Celestino Rodriguez from Slaton.
Update from Lubbock Police Department Wednesday afternoon:
On Thursday, August 8, a Milam County Deputy spotted a man walking along a highway and stopped to see if he needed assistance.
Upon contact with the deputy, he made statements regarding having driven Rodriguez's car. A Texas Ranger was called in to assist with interviewing Toby Daughtry, 39.
Daughtry revealed that he had obtained the vehicle in Lubbock sometime after August 3. He told the Texas Ranger that he and Amanda Blagburn, 33, drove the vehicle to Milam County, near Milano, and abandoned it in a wooded secluded area after learning that the vehicle was associated with the Silver Alert for Celestino Rodriguez.
Detectives with the Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit obtained Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle arrest warrants for Daughtry and Blagburn.
Daughtry was arrested Wednesday afternoon near 8th street and Vicksburg Ave. and was transported to the Lubbock County Detention Facility and booked in. Blagburn is still outstanding.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Brett Garza or David Hampton is urged to call Crime Line at 806-741-1000.