In a 911 call released Monday, Sergio Celis calmly informed a dispatcher that his 6-year-old daughter Isabel had disappeared from her bedroom in their Tucson home.
“I need to report a missing child. I believe she was abducted from my house,” he said. Asked why he believes she was abducted, however, he responded, “I have no idea.”
On the morning of April 21, Celis called 911 to report that Isabel was gone when he went to wake her up and her bedroom window was open with the screen laying the backyard. “My sons are running around the house looking for her,” he said.
According to Celis, the family got home from his son’s baseball game around 10:30 the previous night and the kids went to sleep soon after that. He told the dispatcher he had been watching TV in the living room at midnight and “never heard anything weird.”
“I was like just on the other side of the wall from her,” he said.
Isabel’s mother Becky had already left for work when Sergio Celis called 911. “I just called her. I told her to get her butt home,” he said.
In a separate 911 call, Becky Celis sounded more emotional and at times panicked as she tried to explain what happened.
“I went to work this morning at 7 and I just, I didn’t even come in and check on her. I should have checked on her,” she said.
Becky Celis told a dispatcher she had put braided ponytails in Isabel’s hair before she went to bed. She said Isabel was wearing an Old Navy American flag t-shirt and navy blue shorts when she last saw her.
Isabel’s 14-year-old brother also spoke to the dispatcher.
“Someone broke in and grabbed her,” he said, adding that it looked like the screen was taken off her bedroom window.
Also on Monday, police confirmed that there has been a voluntary agreement between Sergio Celis and Child Protective Services that he will stay away from his two sons. They would not say what led to that decision.
Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor cautioned reporters at an afternoon press conference not to read too much into the development and said it is not indicative of a specific path investigators are pursuing.
In local and national media interviews, Isabel’s parents have both denied having any involvement in her disappearance.