TPD searches Lakeside Park as part of search - Tucson News Now

TPD searches Lakeside Park as part of search

Isabel Celis (Source: Facebook) Isabel Celis (Source: Facebook)
Lakeside Park (Source: Tucson Real Estate Blog) Lakeside Park (Source: Tucson Real Estate Blog)
Sergio and Rebecca Celis speak to the media on Wednesday. Sergio and Rebecca Celis speak to the media on Wednesday.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

From the Thursday 6pm Police briefing:

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor says police have searched Lakeside Park on Tucson's east side in addition to the focused search going on closer to the home of 6-year-old Isabel Celis, who disappeared Saturday morning.

Villasenor also said police have talked to every registered sex offender in the neighborhood.  He encouraged other people living in the area who have not been contacted by police to call 88-CRIME if they have information.

The FBI is sitting in on every breifing, but Villasenor says its behavorial analysts will not necessarily interview people they are interested in because their procedures involve more observation and evaluation

Villasenor also said TPD's new crime lab is helping in the case.  As for the cost of the investigation, the chief says he is not worried about it, but he will work it out with the Tucson City Council and the city manager if it becomes an issue.

Earlier, Tucson Police Lt. Fabian Pacheco spoke to the media about the on-going investigation regarding Isabel Celis' whereabouts.

Pacheco said the Tucson Police Department remains the lead agency in the investigation, with help from the FBI and other agencies.

Pacheco also said there is a misconception that Tucson police discouraged the Celis family from speaking to the media.

"That is false," he said.

Celis' parents, Sergio and Rebecca Celis, spoke publicly for the first time yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, police have reported no major breaks in the case. Detectives are pouring over lead sheets they gave neighbors of the Celis family.

They are eight-page questionnaires asking about any activity around the day 6-year-old Isabel Celis disappeared.

Police will remain at the Celis home to protect their privacy and property, although the family is not there.

The reward for Isabel's return has been raised to $30,000, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said at a press conference Wednesday.

A representative of 88-CRIME confirmed the number, but said $21,000 is confirmed while another $9,000 is pledged contributions. However, contributions are still coming in.

Villasenor said they have received over 300 leads, but that the volume of leads has slowed down.

Even though authorities have scaled down the search for Isabel, who was last seen Friday evening, Villasenor said they are not giving up. He said he will keep faith that Isabel is alive "until proven otherwise."

In a public statement to media on Wednesday, Rebecca Celis thanked everyone who has been looking for her daughter since Saturday and explained why the family has stayed out of the media.

"We don't want the focus to be taken off of Isabel by us being in front of the cameras," she said. "We are here today to plea for safe return of our baby girl, Isabel."

Sergio Celis made a plea to whomever might have his daughter, "Tell us your demands. Tell us what you want. We will do anything for her."

He also had a message for Isabel, "We are looking for you, Isa. We love you and we miss you so much. We will never give up. We will never give up looking for you."

In another development, police have re-opened the neighborhood where the Celises live. It had been blocked off since Saturday.

Earlier today, Villasenor said in a news conference at noon that because of expected poor weather, the police command center will move to the police station at 22nd Street and Alvernon.

Wednesday, police say they're turning their attention to washes and drainage areas to look for 6-year old Isabel Celis.

During an earlier news conference, Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said, "As time goes on, it makes the trail grow colder."

He added, "It doesn't mean we can't find Isabel alive and bring her back home."

The street where the Celis family lives has been blocked off for days now, but it could be reopened later today.  

FBI Behavioral Investigators have completed a search at the home, and the team is working on a suspect profile.

Police say that the Celis family has chosen not to return to their home near Broadway and Craycroft at this point. 

Villasenor said in a Wednesday night press conference that anyone living in the area around the Celis home, that has not already been interviewed by police, should contact police or 88-CRIME even if they have no new leads.

The next scheduled press conference is for 8 a.m. Thursday.

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