Retired Phoenix cop weighs in on Isabel Celis case, other abduction cases

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by Catherine Holland

GMAZ interview by Kaley O'Kelley

Posted on April 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 15 at 4:17 PM

PHOENIX -- It's been one week since anybody saw Isabel Celis, the Tucson 6-year-old who has been the subject of nationwide attention the past few days.

The first-grader's parents, Becky and Sergio Celis, told investigators they last saw their little girl at 11 p.m. Friday. When Sergio went to wake Isabel at 8 a.m. Saturday, she was not in her bed.

Since then police and volunteers have been searching for Isabel. Police call the case a "suspicious disappearance/possible abduction," but they don't know what happened to the little girl.

"We're not ruling anything out of the investigation at this point because we really need to keep our mind open about all the information that's been brought to us," Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said early on in the investigation.

"Right now, investigators are in a stage where they're trying to figure out exactly where to go next," explained Andy Hill, a retired Phoenix officer who has seen all too many missing-children cases. "They're waiting for results of tests. They've served search warrants. They've gathered forensic evidence.

"They're waiting to the lab to come back with what they can. They're studying the interviews they've done .... They're kind of getting all their ducks in a row right now. ... They may have some specific information they've developed that they haven't released .... They're also going to be seeking more information from the public to see if somebody else."

The woman who has lived next door to the Celis family for the past eight months just came forward, saying she heard two male voice and dogs barking outside her bedroom widow, which is right across from Isabel's bedroom.

"I didn't really think anything of it because it was light outside and I thought maybe someone was going for a walk," Alicia Stardevant said.

There's an incredible amount of work to be done with this kind of investigation.

"They have to prioritize," Hill said.

Hill also talked about the search for Jheysse Shockley, the Glendale girl who disappeared last October, and the case of Gabriel Johnson, the Tempe baby who was last right right after Christmas 2009.

 

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