Police actively looking for Slaton man after suspicious disappearance

Why the Silver Alert was cancelled

Police actively looking for Slaton man after suspicious disappearance
Celestino Rodriguez, 79, went missing on Saturday, August 3, 2019 around 10 a.m. (Source: Slaton Police Department)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Since 2007 the state of Texas started “Silver Alerts” to notify the public of missing older adults. The Texas Department of Public Safety has criteria that has to be met before they can issue a Silver Alert.

Silver Alert issued for 79-year-old Celestino Rodriguez.
Silver Alert issued for 79-year-old Celestino Rodriguez. (Source: Slaton Police Department)
ATL Persons of Interest In The Disappearance of Celestino Rodriguez. Brett Garza and David Hampton.
ATL Persons of Interest In The Disappearance of Celestino Rodriguez. Brett Garza and David Hampton. (Source: Lubbock Police Department)

“There’s a lot of things that go into it. Number one, you know, we have to have a car. A known vehicle that they might be in, if we don’t have that, then that criteria hasn’t been met," said Officer Ray Mendoza, Captain at Lubbock Police Department.

The below represents Silver Alert criteria for the state's network:

  • Is the missing person 65 years of age or older?
  • Does the senior citizen have a diagnosed impaired mental condition, and does the senior citizen's disappearance pose a credible threat to the senior citizen's health and safety? (Law enforcement shall require the family or legal guardian of the missing senior citizen to provide documentation from a medical or mental health professional of the senior citizen's condition).
  • Is it confirmed that an investigation has taken place verifying that the senior citizen's disappearance is due to his/her impaired mental condition, and alternative reasons for the senior citizen's disappearance have been ruled out?
  • Is the Silver Alert request within 72 hours of the senior citizen's disappearance?
  • Is there sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the senior citizen? (Highway signs will be activated only if accurate vehicle information is available AND it is confirmed that the senior citizen was driving the vehicle at the time of the disappearance).

Officials say 79-year-old Celestino Rodriguez was last seen on Saturday, August 3, and police are now calling his disappearance “suspicious.” Since Rodriguez’s car was located in Temple, TX last Wednesday, his case no longer met criteria for a Silver Alert and was reclassified as a missing person case. LPD says they’re working with DPS to find Rodriguez.

“We can tell you that we’ve got everybody that’s available to work on a case on it. They’ve worked all throughout the weekend,” said Mendoza, “So we’re very active. Our detectives are not sleeping.”

Police are looking for two persons of interest in the case. Brett Garza and David Hampton.

Captain Mendoza says Garza and Hampton are persons of interest because they know the men had contact with Rodriguez on the day he went missing.

“And for some reason, they were utilizing his debit card," said Mendoza.

Garza and Hampton are now wanted for credit card, debit card abuse, and are wanted for questioning in the disappearance of Rodriguez.

DPS troopers are processing Rodriguez’s car and will release more information as they get it.

If anyone sees these two men, they’re asked to contact their local authorizes or call Crime Line at 806-741-1000. Currently, there is a $2,000 reward leading to their arrest.

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