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Police: Release of wrong video not a 'setback' in Celis case

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Isabel Celis

Police: Release of wrong video not a 'setback' in Celis case

Police likely to end daily briefings about missing girl's disappearance

  • TPD
  • Celis family
  • Find Isabel Celis
  • Find Isabel Celis
  • Celis family

Tucson Police do not consider the release of wrong surveillance video they had hoped would lead them to potential witnesses in the case of missing 6-year-old Isabel Celis as a step back in the investigation, said TPD spokesman Lt. Fabian Pacheco on Tuesday.

"I don't consider it to be a setback," Pacheco said. "We hope it doesn't impact the community's perception" of the department's work.

The footage captured on the video, which shows a group of two men and three women walking through a parking lot, was actually from April 22, one day after Isabel was reported missing. The error was blamed on the video lacking a time stamp, Pacheco said Monday.

Police had released the video believing it was from April 21 between 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m., Pacheco said.

Pacheco had little new to report in the Tuesday afternoon media briefing about the investigation that is now in its 11th day. He said the briefing likely would be the last daily press conference for the department in the case, unless police make a breakthrough.

Isabel was last seen when she went to bed April 20 at 11 p.m., at the family's home in the 5600 block of E. 12th St. Sergio Celis discovered his daughter missing from her bedroom the following morning. After searching the home, the police were contacted around 8 a.m.

Investigators continue to pore over leads and are reviewing witness statements from early in the investigation to see if any information stands out 11 days after Isabel went missing, Pacheco said.

Police have no received "approximately 400, if not more" tips investigators are following up on, Pacheco said.

TPD has about 50 detectives and investigators and an additional 40 support personnel working on the case. While they have rotated shifts, they worked through the weekend following up on tips, Pacheco said.

There also are FBI and U.S. Marshals Service personnel working on the case, Pacheco said.

Authorities in Sonora, Mexico, where information on the case has been distributed to law enforcement personnel, have followed up on two tips, Pacheco said Monday.

Pacheco also said Monday that the department remains in "constant contact" with the Celis family. He was unsure Tuesday if the family has returned to the 12th Street home after being given the OK last week following searches by TPD and FBI investigators.

Isabel's parents, Sergio and Becky Celis, made a statement to members of the media last week when they pleaded for Isabel's return.

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

Pacheco said the family has received numerous requests for an interview from media outlets and is considering sitting down for an interview, though police do not know with whom.

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. TPD has not released any information about what she was last wearing.

There now is a $50,000 reward for information that leads investigators to Isabel.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911, 88-CRIME or leave a tip through TPD's new tool that allows people to text anonymous tips or leave them online. Tips also can be made through the Center for Missing & Exploited Children's tip line at (800) THE-LOST, or online through its CyberTipline.

TPD's TipSoft is available as an app for iPhone and Android users, or people can text "CRIMES" (274637) beginning with the keyword "TucsonPD" from any mobile phone. For tips in the Celis case, the keyword is "TucsonPD 5265".

For more information on TipSoft or to leave a tip online, visit TPD's website.

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