Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp said in a statement this evening Claude Luther Celestine was apprehended Tuesday with assistance of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office in Decatur, Georgia, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Fugitive and Missing Persons Task Force.
Tripp said this evening Celestine has waived extradition and he and his staff are in the planning stages of returning him back to Halifax County.
Tripp said to his knowledge Celestine committed no crimes while on the lam.
The sheriff was pleased with the work of DeKalb County authorities and the SBI. “We greatly appreciate the unity and cooperation we have with other law enforcement agencies across the country.”
Tripp said in the statement Donovan Gonsalves remains at large.
Celestine, along with Gonsalves, was wanted in the murder of Daquinn Blount, a former Roanoke Rapids resident. The murder occurred early on the morning of July 16 inside the residence of Marc Anthony Solomon-Cartagena.
Solomon-Cartagena posted bond for Celestine on his obstruction charge the day of the murder. The murder charges had not been filed at the time Solomon-Cartagena had posted the cash bond and a bondsman posted for the drug charges lodged against Celestine the morning of the murder.
Tripp said investigators have reason to believe Gonsalves, who was also shot the morning of the murder, is also in Georgia. He is considered to be armed and “extremely dangerous,” the sheriff said in the statement.
The sheriff’s office said last week the case is believed to drug-related. There is, however, no evidence to suggest Blount, Celestine or Gonsalves were at Grant Drive to rob Solomon-Cartagena. The four men were acquainted with each other.
Tripp confirmed last week evidence shows there was a dispute between the two men who were shot — Blount and Gonsalves.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Gonsalves or has further information in this case is encouraged to contact the sheriff's office at 252-583-8201 or Crimestoppers at 252- 583-4444.