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Isabel Mercedes Celis (August 27, 2005 [1] - April 21 [?] 2012), was a kidnapping and murder victim. Born in 2005 to Rebecca and Sergio Celis, Isabel grew up in a loving family on the east side of Tucson, Arizona with her two older brothers. She was described as a sweet little girl by her uncle, saying, "All the ambition in the world. She could do whatever she wanted. Didn't really like strangers or anything like that so very close knitted and just very wise."[2] According to her mother, she loved Halloween and dressing up.[3] At the time of her disappearance she was 6 years old.

Isabel was last seen alive at 11 PM on April 20th, 2012, when she was put to bed by her parents. The next morning at 8 AM, when her father went to wake her up he found her bed empty and the window screen removed. [2][4][5][6] After conducting a brief search of the house, Sergio contacted 911 and reported her missing. Roughly 150-250 officers began a search for the missing girl right away, finding evidence of suspicious or forced entry into the home. [2]

Investigators and the public initially suspected Isabel's father, Sergio, due to his relative calm while reporting the missing person in comparison to his wife and one of his sons. [4][7] In response to this, his wife defended him, calling him a great father who loved his daughter. [8] Ultimately, this suspicion would prove fruitless, as in February of 2017, the girlfriend of Christopher Matthew Clements reported to the FBI that she had found items belonging to Isabel in his possession and that he knew where her body was buried. On March 3, 2017, Clements directed the FBI to Isabel's remains on the condition his burglary charges be dropped. The area is also where the remains of Maribel Gonzalez (13) had been found three days after her disappearance in 2014. [9] In a letter Clements says there are two more bodies buried in the area, but authorities have been unable to locate these remains. [10] Christoper Clements is a registered sex offender convicted of two counts of two accounts of attempted unlawful sexual penetration with a sexual object at age 16 [11] and accused of (but not charged with) molesting a young girl at age 11 [12]. His trial date for the murders of Isabel and Maribel is set for February 23, 2021 at Pima County Superior Court. [13]

Isabel's funeral was held at St. Augustine Chapel in Tucson, Arizona on April 29, 2017. [14]

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References[edit | edit source]

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2
  4. 4.0 4.1
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