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2 years later, parents of missing Tucson girl still cling to hope of her return

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TUCSON, Arizona — On the two-year anniversary of their daughter's disappearance, the parents of Isabel Celis said they are still hopeful that she will come home.

With Monday marking two years since they last saw their then 6-year-old child, Becky and Sergio Celis told the Arizona Daily Star (http://bit.ly/Qu0g9R) that they hope renewed efforts by Tucson police will yield some clues.

Eight detectives were assigned in January to review the case and conduct new interviews.

"It's a new team and we're hoping that maybe asking different questions or just having a little bit of time pass someone will remember something," Becky Celis said.

On the morning of April 21, 2012, Sergio Celis went to wake up Isabel for a baseball game, but she was gone. Becky Celis had already left for work. Sergio Celis called authorities.

Police spent the next several weeks interviewing neighbors. They also checked surveillance videos of nearby businesses and canvassed local parks and even a landfill.

A neighbor said she heard her dogs barking and male voices outside her bedroom window around 6:30 a.m. on the day the girl was reported missing. The neighbor said there were no sounds that indicated a struggle.

PHOTO: Sergio Celis, right, watches as his wife Becky discusses  the case of their missing daughter, Isabel, in their Tucson, Ariz., home on Monday, April 14, 2014.  (AP Photo/ Arizona Daily Star, Ron Medvescek)
Sergio Celis, right, watches as his wife Becky discusses the case of their missing daughter, Isabel, in their Tucson, Ariz., home on Monday, April 14, 2014. (AP Photo/ Arizona Daily Star, Ron Medvescek)

About a month after the child's disappearance, police revealed that Sergio Celis had been barred from having contact with the girl's two older brothers for a period of time, but they did not say why.

Sergio Celis said he wants to see detectives apply the same scrutiny to any new leads.

"That was my main hope when everything revamped that hopefully they'll go in a more appropriate direction that they weren't looking at from the beginning," he said.

The couple said a relative who moved away shortly after Isabel went missing has been uncooperative with the investigation. They hope police will get to interview him. The Celises would only say the relative is someone who hasn't been in contact with the family.

Someone approaches them at least once a week to say they are thinking of Isabel, Becky Celis said.

Meanwhile, they are trying to maintain a normal life of school and activities for Isabel's two older brothers. But they say they are resistant to make new memories without their "Isa."

"There's still lots of hope and it's going to be Isa's angel that's going to bring her home, and we need the community to keep their eyes open," Becky Celis said.


Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com

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