Community steps up to help search for missing child - Tucson News Now

Community steps up to help search for missing child

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
Dozens of volunteers stepped up to help hand out flyers and search for a Tucson child, missing since Saturday, April 21.
6-year old Isabel Celis' parents reported they last saw her on Friday night around 11 p.m. when she went to bed.

When her father went to check on her the next morning at 8 a.m., he told police she was gone.  A window had been removed from her room.
While dozens of police officers, deputies, and federal agents helped search for Celis, Tucson residents came together to make their own contribution.
Family friends and employees of Tucson Medical Center, where Celis' mother is a nurse, came together to start a mass campaign to distribute flyers.
The volunteers set up a tent in a parking lot at the corner of Broadway and Craycroft, right across from the police command post.
They were distributing flyers and collecting donations.  Volunteers said it was amazing to see the community rise up.

Dozens of people stopped by to pick up stacks of flyers to distribute in their neighborhoods.  Local businesses stepped up as well, offering discounts on printing, also volunteering to hand out flyers to all of their customers, along with the receipt.
Local restaurants stopped by with water and food for the volunteers.
"It hits home, it really hits home," said one mother who was dedicating her time to help distribute flyers.
In addition to friends and co-workers, the volunteers said it was amazing to see so many strangers step up to the plate as well.
"Not only does it hit home because it's in our community, but it's someone you know personally," said Jenna Tesso, a co-worker of Celis' mother.
In three days, volunteers distributed more than 57,000 flyers and raised enough money to print several large banners.  They planned on getting a billboard up in a few days.
Dozens of volunteers fanned out across the city to hand out flyers, while some manned a booth set up at the Pima County Fair.
Heath Gregory, Celis' co-worker, said the fair was a great place to reach out to thousands of people from all over the region.

"It's pretty emotional.  It's a co-worker's daughter.  I have a 5-year old and a 6-year old myself.  This is really emotional, for something like this to happen.

Some parents said the incident had scared them, and had them double checking things in their own homes.

"It affects me as a parent.  The night it happened I checked all my windows, locks, doors, then I triple-checked them," said Gregory.

Volunteers said a candlelight vigil was expected to take place at Freedom Park on E. 29th street at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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