Dozens honor life of Isabel Celis with community vigil - Tucson News Now

Dozens honor life of Isabel Celis with community vigil

Vigil for Isabel Celis (Source: Tucson News Now) Vigil for Isabel Celis (Source: Tucson News Now)
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    So far more than 150 people have RSVP’d to the event tonight at 6:30 at the downtown library on Pennington and Stone. Organizers are asking the community to bring candles.

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It was the outcome that no one was hoping for.

More than a hundred community members came together to host the first community vigil in Tucson for six-year-old Isabel Celis since city police announced they found her remains in a rural part of Pima County.

The remains of the little girl were found nearly five years after she disappeared from her home on the east side.

"It was really heartbreaking," said Liliana Ortega, a Tucson mom who said she's been following the case since Isabel was first reported missing. "I was just hoping she'd come home."

Since 2012, Tucson held on to hope that she was alive. The person responsible for her death is still out there.

“I felt that we all needed to come together in support of the family, as well as to honor and celebrate the life of Isabel,” said lead organizer of the vigil Travis Ramirez.

Ramirez along with two of his friends began planning the vigil shortly after the announcement from police was made.

Most of the people that attended were parents and said they felt a personal, emotional connection with the Celis case.

"Every year I would tell my husband, tell my family, you know, we would just talk about it and really just prayed one day she would make it back home," said Tucson mother Jaclyn Roman.

Ramirez said he spoke to a representative for the family before the vigil and said the family kindly declined to attend.

The Tucson Medical Center released a statement on behalf of the Celis family on Friday, March 31, thanking the community for their support.

As the Celis family continues to mourn, those who attended the vigil want to remind the family that they are here for them with open arms and open hearts.

"I still call Tucson a town because it has that feeling that we all come together," said supporter Nicholas Roman. "We just pray for the family and we want them to know that they have the support of their city."

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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