Home / National News / Search for Missing Tucson Girl Isabel Celis Checks Nearby Homes


(TUCSON, Ariz.) — Tucson police searched a number of residences Monday close to where 6-year-old Isabel Mercedes Celis has disappeared, including one home on the same street as the girl’s house.

The search for the missing girl entered day three Monday with investigators combing a nearby landfill, canvassing the neighborhood, interviewing residents, and examining evidence that FBI search dogs “hit” in the Celis family home.

Celis was reported missing by her father around 8 a.m. Saturday after Celis’ mother had left for work and her father went to wake her up. The child was not in her room, and a bedroom window was opened with the screen removed, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said.

The little girl was last seen around 11 p.m. Friday, when she was put to bed, he said.

Villasenor would not say which residences were searched Monday, after police obtained warrants for the case, but did acknowledge that more than 15 registered sex offenders live within a three-mile radius of the family’s home, including at least one who lives in the immediate vicinity.

Detectives have interviewed all of the offenders, he said.

The search for Celis intensified after two FBI search dogs hit upon something in the Celis family home overnight. Villasenor noted that there was a cadaver dog and a scent dog used in the search.

“We have information we obtained from the dogs that has necessitated more follow-up investigation,” Villasenor said Monday.

Police evacuated the Celis family from their home Monday following the dog search, Villasenor said. They are treating the house as a crime scene.

Police have not ruled out the parents of the missing child as suspects.

Investigators also continued to search a nearby landfill Monday where garbage was taken after being picked up at the Celis’ home on Saturday, Villasenor said. Having police turn to a landfill for evidence of the girl was a grim turn in the investigation.

Celis’ uncle, Justin Mastromarino, told ABC News that the girl’s mother is devastated over the disappearance of her “sweet little girl.”

“They’re very upset right now, mother is beside herself. We’re just trying to let police do their thing and get as much info as possible,” said Mastromarino.

Mastromarino said her family is a loving one.

More than 250 people helped search the area around the Celis’ Tucson neighborhood this weekend, including canvassing neighbors to ask about any possible leads.

Celis’ family told ABC News on Sunday that they have no doubt she was kidnapped by a stranger.

“You don’t think anything like that would actually really happen to you. And all of sudden, you wake up one morning and you’re in that scenario. Everything goes through your mind, you’re angry, you’re upset, you’re frustrated, you’re confused,” Mastromarino said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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