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Widespread search launched in Tucson for missing 6-year-old girl

April 21, 2012|By Dalina Castellanos
  • Tucson authorities are searching for Isabel Mercedes Celis, 6.
Tucson authorities are searching for Isabel Mercedes Celis, 6.

A 6-year-old girl disappeared Saturday from her home in Tucson, launching a widespread search involving the U.S. Marshals and the FBI.

First-grader Isabel Mercedes Celis was not in her room when her parents went to wake her up around 8 a.m. Saturday at their east Tucson home, said Tucson police spokeswoman Sgt. Maria Hawke in a telephone interview with The Times.

Her family last saw her in her bedroom at 11 p.m. Friday. The neighborhood of single-family homes sits west of a shopping mall and east of a Catholic church.

Police were called at 8:14 a.m. and were not able to determine whether the girl was kidnapped or if she had wandered off on her own. Investigators were looking at every door and window in the home for signs of a break in.

Due to the nature of the disappearance, police asked for “all hands on deck” and called in more than 75 officers, including K-9 and air units, Hawke said.

The Arizona Department of Corrections also brought in its bloodhounds.

Isabel is the youngest of three children and lives with her parents and older brothers. 

The search continued throughout the day and will continue “until we’ve exhausted every possibility,” Hawke said Saturday evening.

Isabel is described as just under 4 feet tall and weighing 44 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.


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