Search for Missing Girl, 6, Ends With Tragic Find

Tucson girl's body found in desert
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2017 7:07 AM CDT
After 5 Years, Body of Missing 6-Year-Old Found
In this April 17, 2015 photo, Sergio and Becky Celis, parents of Isabel Celis, talk about their daughter's disappearance.   (Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

The search for a 6-year-old Arizona girl who vanished from her bedroom almost five years ago has ended with a tragic discovery in the desert. Police say remains found in a remote part of rural Pima County weeks ago have been identified as those of Isabel Mercedes Celis, the New York Daily News reports. "Obviously this is not the ending that any of us had hoped for, but this is also not the ending of the case," Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said Friday. "We are working this case very aggressively as we would with any case involving the death of a child."

Magnus did not disclose the cause of death or how long the remains had been in that location, but said they weren't found by accident, Tucson News Now reports. "It was not a happenstance," the chief said. The Celis family issued a statement thanking the community for its support over the years. "Now is our time to mourn," the statement said. "We ask for our privacy during this time so that we can do that." After Isabel disappeared from her Tucson home overnight on April 20, 2012, police followed up more than 2,200 leads without success. They never named any suspects, but said they had found "suspicious circumstances around a possible entry point." (Read more missing child stories.)

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