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No breakthroughs in Isabel Celis case

Police search Lakeside Park's lake, but have no specific lead

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Investigators spent another day Thursday following up on leads but had no breakthroughs in the disappearance of 6-year-old Isabel Celis. 

Law enforcement personnel also spent time searching around the lake at Lakeside Park, about six miles from the Celis home, but Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor said at a 6 p.m. press briefing that the move was not based on any specific lead.

Villaseñor said other bodies of water around the city and county also are being looked at.

"We're not ruling anything out at this point," he said.

TPD said Thursday morning that they continue to receive a steady stream of tips, in part because of a statement made to the press Wednesday by Sergio and Becky Celis, the parents of Isabel. They have received more than 300 tips.

Investigators are reviewing "lead sheets," which are questionnaires used with potential witnesses and the sheets have been adjusted for this case, TPD said at a noon briefing Thursday.

ABC News reported Wednesday that neighbors had been given the questionnaires asking for information about surveillance cameras, dogs barking, and who Isabel is normally with and what she is seen doing. 

Meanwhile, behavioral analysts from the FBI spent Thursday reviewing interviews conducted by its investigators, TPD said.

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A cash reward is being offered for information that helps detectives solve the case. The reward as of Thursday was $21,000, with $20,000 coming from private donations and $1,000 from 88-CRIME, said Susie Dupnik, executive director of 88-CRIME for the Pima County Attorney's Office.

Dupnik said with projected donations, the reward is expected to reach $30,000. Donations are made anonymously, she said.

On Wednesday, the parents made tearful pleas in English and Spanish for the return of their daughter.

"We are here today to plea for the safe return of our baby girl, Isabel," said Becky Celis.

"Please, please, to the person or persons who have Isabel: Tell us your demands. Tell us what you want," said Sergio Celis.

"We love you, Isabel, and we miss you so much. We will never give up looking for you," he said.

The Celises also thanked the investigators and supporters who are looking for their daughter, who was last seen at 11 p.m. on Friday when she went to bed.

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor said investigations like Isabel's take time, defending the pace of the department's work on the case.

"Forensic work takes time. Investigative work takes time. We’re trying to do the best we can with limited information," he said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

On Wednesday, investigators turned their attention to washes and drainage areas in the search for Isabel, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor said Wednesday morning.

"We're not gonna take the chance of overlooking anything," Villaseñor said at a morning press conference.

Investigators have gathered surveillance video from area businesses, but have not said if they've found anything on the tapes.

They are also looking into reports of dogs barking early on the morning Isabel disappeared, Tucson Police said at an 8 p.m. news conference Wednesday.

Sergio Celis discovered his daughter missing from her bedroom the following Saturday morning. After searching the home, the police were contacted around 8 a.m.

While the family was cleared to return to the home Tuesday, they've yet to return.

“Obviously I’m disappointed we haven’t found her at this point,” Villaseñor said Wednesday and added that authorities won't give up hope.

"We have a child who's missing. We have suspicious circumstances. We are going to do everything possible to locate that child," he said earlier.

Anyone with information is asked to call 88-CRIME. The Center for Missing & Exploited Children is encouraging anyone with tips to call (800) THE-LOST or leave a tip online through its CyberTipline.

Isabel weighs 44 pounds and is 3 feet 8 inches tall. She has long brown hair, hazel eyes and is missing two front teeth, one on the bottom and one on top. The Tucson Police Department has not released any information about what she was last wearing.

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A statement from the family

“We appreciate everyone’s interest in finding our daughter, Isabel, and thank all the volunteers who have come out to search for her. We are cooperating fully with authorities, and are focused only on her safe return. We appreciate all your energy and efforts and continue to need the community’s help. Please call TPD if you have any information. We love Isabel and will never give up finding her. Thank you for all your support.”

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