LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A man associated with the disappearance of a 79-year-old Slaton man, who has been missing since Saturday, Aug. 3, said the missing man was beaten and left in a field after his car was stolen.
Officials with the Lubbock Police Department and Sheriff’s Office say they have teams searching for Celestino Rodriguez today.
Toby Daughtry, one of two people arrested for the unauthorized use of 79-year-old Celestino Rodriguez’s vehicle, told law enforcement he got the vehicle while he was in Lubbock.
He said he got the car from a man named David Hampton, who is wanted by police for the alleged use of Rodriguez’s credit/debit card after his disappearance. Hampton and a man named Brett Garza are both accused of using Rodriguez’s bank card, and are thought to know details on his disappearance.
Lubbock Police say Hampton surrendered himself to police in Abilene around 2:15 Thursday afternoon at the Abilene Police headquarters. Hampton was booked into the Taylor County Detention Center on a warrant for felony debit/credit card abuse. Arresting officers say Hampton was taken into custody without incident.
Arrest warrants for Hampton and Garza revealed purchases with Rodriguez’s cards at Walmart, Dollar General, United Market Street, and Walgreens.
The warrants state surveillance video was obtained from Walmart, United Market Street, Walgreens and Dollar General. With the exception of Dollar General, Garza and Hampton can be seen on surveillance video at each location and appear to be working in conjunction with one another and benefiting from the unauthorized use of the debit card. Video was obtained from Peoples Bank from the ATM at 34th Street and Memphis Avenue, according to the warrants. Police say the video shows Hampton utilizing the debit card for an unauthorized transaction.
There is an unnamed man who is also wanted for credit/debit card abuse for using Rodriguez’s card at a Dollar General in Lubbock.
“(Daughtry) stated Hampton told him “they” had beaten an old man and left him in the country outside of Lubbock and taken the car,” a police search warrant stated. “When asked who “they” were, he stated that he believed Hampton was referring to himself and Garza.”
Deputies with the Milam County Sheriff’s Office were given a tip about the vehicle on Wednesday, Aug. 7. They were told it was between the towns of Gauss and Branchville along a small waterway surrounded by tall vegetation.
It was confirmed to be Rodriguez’s and a day later police were told by someone else that Daughtry was in possession of that vehicle.
That same day police were called to check on a male subject who was walking along a roadway. That subject turned out to be Daughtry and he told them about the stolen car, allegedly given to him by Hampton.
Daughtry also said he was riding in the car with a woman named Amanda Blagburn, who was in contact with Hampton.
“Hampton told her to get rid of the car because it was involved in something bad,” the warrant stated. “Blagburn ultimately directed Daughtry to the area where the car was abandoned.”
Blagburn told police she wiped down the car to get rid of fingerprints and she wanted the car out of sight, but in a place police could find it.
As of now Daughtry, Blagburn, Hampton and Garza are in police custody. Another person, who has not been identified by police, is wanted in this case.
KCBD NewsChannel 11 will update this story when more information becomes available.