Body found in Abernathy identified as missing Slaton man

A body found northwest of Abernathy has been identified as Celestino Rodriguez, 79, of Slaton.

A press release given by the LPD reported the investigation lead them to Hale County, where they found a body in a field near County Road 315 and County Road K, northwest of Abernathy at approximately 10:45 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 15).

His body was transported to South Plains Forensic Pathology where an autopsy was performed to confirm his identity.

Rodriguez had been reported missing to the Slaton Police Department Aug. 3. After an initial investigation, SPD activated a Silver Alert Aug. 5, and requested assistance from the Lubbock County Sheriff’s office two days later. The case was later investigated as a missing person case under the direction of the Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit, with the assistance of the Texas Rangers, who have the necessary resources to continue with the investigation.

Rodriguez’ vehicle, a 2014 white Chrysler 200, was later found in Temple by a Milam County Deputy on Aug. 7.

Four people have been arrested as persons of interest in this case.

David Hampton, 53, was taken into custody Thursday afternoon (Aug. 15) by the Abilene Police Department in Abilene. He surrendered himself to the APD without incident.

Brett Garza, 33, was arrested Wednesday night (Aug. 14)  in the 3000 block of 49th St. on charges of felony debit/credit card abuse.

Also taken into custody was Amanda Blagburn, 33, at Burger King at University Avenue and Loop 289.

A third man, Toby Daughtry, 39, was also arrested.

Hampton and Garza were arrested on charges of felony debit/credit card abuse.

Daughtry and Blagburn were arrested on charges of unauthorized use of Rodriguez’ vehicle.

There is a fifth man sought in the case, allegedly using Rodriguez’ card at a Dollar General in Lubbock.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Leave a Comment