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UPDATE: Police records reveal chilling details in murder near Silverlake Park

Officials say victim was strangled with a trash bag
The Tucson Police Department said Blanca Esthela Rodriguez-Celaya is facing charges of...
The Tucson Police Department said Blanca Esthela Rodriguez-Celaya is facing charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and burglary in connection with the death of Maria De La Luz Sandoval.(Tucson Police Department)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 9:17 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:32 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An interim complaint released on Wednesday, Sept. 22, gave new details about the murder of a 69-year-old woman the day before.

The Tucson Police Department said Maria De La Luz Sandoval was killed and Blanca Esthela Rodriguez-Celaya, 47, is facing several charges including murder.

The TPD said officers were called to an apartment complex on East 36th Street, south of Silverlake Park, initially believing they were responding to a death call. When they arrived, they found Sandoval’s body with obvious signs of trauma.

According to the interim complaint, maintenance workers found Sandoval dead in a bedroom with a pool of blood under her head.

Police said they noticed blunt force trauma injuries on her body, ligature marks around her neck and burn marks on her back, indicating a stun gun had been used.

Relatives of Rodriguez-Celaya called police and said she told them she had killed Sandoval.

When investigators interviewed Rodriguez-Celaya, they said she admitted to the murder and was looking through the apartment for money and cleaned up afterward.

Rodriguez-Celaya reportedly told officers she was addicted to meth and an argument started after Rodriguez-Celaya was caught smoking meth in the bathroom.

Rodriguez-Celaya said she hit Sandoval numerous times in the head and face with a stun gun before using a large trash bag to choke her until she stopped moving.

Rodriguez-Celaya allegedly stole money, a wallet, purse and jewelry before cleaning up the blood and throwing bloody items, clothing and cleaning supplies in several dumpsters.

Authorities said Rodriguez-Celaya tried to stab herself in the neck with a broken meth pipe after learning she was going to jail.

Rodriguez-Celaya is facing charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and burglary. She is currently being held in Pima County Jail on a $1 million bond.

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