Heather Casias in custody, charged in murder of Celestino Rodriguez

Heather Marie Casias, 32 (Source: Lubbock Police Department)
Heather Marie Casias, 32 (Source: Lubbock Police Department)
Updated: Aug. 19, 2019 at 5:41 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Officials with the Lubbock Police Department say 32-year-old Heather Casias has been arrested and charged in connection to the murder of 79-year-old Celestino Rodriguez. She was taken into custody just before 5:30 p.m. at the Red Roof Inn.

The arrest warrant for Brett Garza and David Hampton reveals details about what happened Rodriguez.

Rodriguez went missing on Saturday, Aug. 3 and his body was found near Abernathy on Friday, Aug. 15. So far, police have identified seven people who are thought to be involved.

The seven people connected to this case are Brett Garza, David Hampton, Heather Casias, Amanda Blagburn, Toby Daughtry, James Andrew Anderson, and Freddie Salinas. After the arrest of Casias and Salinas, all seven have been arrested in connection to the case.

Daughtry and Blagburn were found with Rodriguez’s vehicle near Temple on Thursday, Aug. 8. They were arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Garza, who was arrested on Thursday, Aug. 14 and Hampton, who arrested the same day in Abilene, have been charged with murder and abuse of a debit card.

The warrant stated Garza was read his rights and waived his right to counsel on Aug. 15. He told investigators he met with Heather Casias at the beginning of August.

Garza said Casias told him she knew Rodriguez received his government check in August, according to a search warrant. She said they could rob him, take his money and his car. Garza said he then recruited Hampton to help him with the robbery.

A plan was then made for Garza, Casias and Hampton to rob Rodriguez on Aug. 3, according to the warrant.

Casias then lured Rodriguez to a predetermined location. Hampton and Garza grabbed Rodriguez once they arrived at the location and assaulted him while Casias watched.

During the assault, they realized Rodriguez had died, so they moved his body to a secluded location in a western Lubbock cotton field, according to the warrant.

Casias, Hampton and Garza then stole his vehicle and wallet, and left the area. Casias told Garza she knew the PIN for Rodriguez’s card from a previous use while they were together making purchases.

Two days later, after Casias was questioned by law enforcement about the disappearance of Rodriguez, she was worried about authorities finding Rodriguez’s body. She and Garza decided to move his body.

The warrant states Garza, Anderson and Salinas went to where they left Rodriguez’s body and moved it to another secluded location, this time, near Abernathy.

Garza then agreed to lead investigators to the location. Rodriguez’s body was found on Aug. 15.

The murder of Celestino Rodriguez is still under investigation.

A GoFundMe has been set up to benefit the Rodriguez family. You can find a link to it here.

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