Tucson police chief: No new clues in missing girl’s case

2012-04-22T14:15:00Z 2012-05-30T13:43:36Z Tucson police chief: No new clues in missing girl’s caseCarmen Duarte and Jill Jorden Spitz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The intense search for a 6-year-old girl reported missing by her family continues into its second night, with Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor calling her case suspicious and a possible abduction.

The family of Isabel Mercedes Celis told police they put the girl down for bed at 11 p.m. Friday, and when they went to get her up at 8 a.m. Saturday she was gone.

“We’ve used just about every resource we could find to try and locate Isabel,” Villaseñor said at a news conference this afternoon.

Villaseñor said he could not provide new information on Isabel’s case, but he said a multi-agency force has scoured a 2.5-mile radius looking for clues.

Officials have located some "suspicious circumstances surrounding a possible entry point," Tucson Police Sgt. Maria Hawke said this morning.

Isabel lives in the 5600 block of East 12th Street, near East Broadway and Craycroft Road, with her parents and two older brothers, police said. The family is cooperating fully with the investigation, Hawke said today.

Villaseñor said the investigation has not narrowed and that every possible scenario is being pursued.

Scores of police officers scoured her neighborhood all day Saturday, stopping anyone who came or went and checking inside cars and trunks. They also handed out fliers with Isabel's photograph and asked neighbors to be on the lookout for her. Posters passed out by family and volunteers had been posted across the city by this morning. Information is also being shared on Facebook.

An intense search continues today, Hawke said. Villaseñor said up to 250 have been working on the case over the weekend. Sex offenders living within three miles of Isabel’s home have been interviewed by investigators.

The FBI sent agents and an evidence recovery team. The U.S. Marshals Office sent people to help with the neighborhood search. The Arizona Department of Corrections sent bloodhounds. Both the Pima County Sheriff's Office and the multi-agency Rapid Response Team sent search-and-rescue personnel. The Tucson Fire Department provided equipment and personnel.

Authorities did not issue an Amber Alert on Saturday because they said they were uncertain whether the child was abducted or walked away from her home. Federal guidelines require that law enforcement confirm that a child has been abducted before issuing an Amber Alert; the fear is that false alerts will make people stop taking the system seriously.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

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