LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A 33-year-old Lubbock man is in custody after police worked through the night trying to solve a murder case. Police responded to a homicide call at the Town homes at O'Neil Terrace at 33rd Street and Avenue U around 3:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon. When investigators arrived they found 32-year-old Tori Pennington dead.
"I want to make sure that everybody keeps in mind that the Medical Examiner's Office makes a ruling on the cause and manner of death. None the less, it does appear very evident that it is a homicide situation," said Lubbock Police Captain Greg Stevens at the scene.
Police say Pennington's three children found her dead and called a family friend. KCBD NewsChannel 11 spoke with that friend, and she said the children are currently staying with a family member. She also said she believes someone strangled Pennington to death.
Detectives did not go home until they made an arrest about 14 hours later. Homicide detectives along with the L.P.D. SWAT team arrested 33-year-old Dustin Thomas Kendrick at his home in the 3600 block of 90th street around 5:30 a.m. Sunday. One of Kendrick's neighbors who woke up to a flash bomb during the arrest says Kendrick lives at the home with his mother, and the neighbor believes Kendrick met Pennington online.
Residents at the Town homes at O'Neil Terrace say they were on edge after hearing about the death of a neighbor and the on-going investigation.
"I was scared. I didn't want to come back. I was trying to stay with friends," said Destry Tolley who lives just a few doors down from Pennington's apartment.
However, neighbors say knowing police have someone in custody gives them some peace of mind.
"I feel way better. Watching the news and they tell you somebody is still on the loose its way scarier, especially if it's in your neighborhood," said Tolley.
Police say they will release more information about this case and how the victim and suspect were connected once autopsy results come back.
Kendrick's bond is set at $250,000 dollars.
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