Crime Trackers

Apr 19, 2013 12:13 AM by Lupita Murillo

One year later: Celis family keeps their faith

TUCSON - As time passes it's easy for hope to fade, but in this dark time nearly one year after the disappearance for their daughter Isabel, the Celis family clings to their faith keeping hope alive.

April 21st, 2012, was the day the Celis family's living nightmare began. At 8:14 am Sergio called police:
911 operator: 911 what is your emergency?
Sergio Celis: I want to report a missing person, my little girl is six years old, I believe she was abducted from our house.

Her mother and an older brother also talks to 911.
Sergio Celis Jr.: Hurry m'am.
911 Operator: They are on the way O-K.
Becky Celis: Someone took her out the window out of my house.

Today, the family is surrounded by pictures of Isabel, the Virgin Mary, and rosaries. The family continues to pray for the return of their precious little girl.

Becky Celis says, "It's hard right now just because it's coming to the date, all those memories start popping back up."

Memories of Tucson Police surrounding their home, using dogs to search for their daughter, and handing out flyers with Isabel's picture all over Tucson.

That went on for months. A year later Sergio Celis says the family is coping by "Staying healthy, staying strong, living through this nightmare. Every moment of everyday."

Today the family says their faith is stronger.

Every night, the family gathers in front of the Virgin Mary and prays the rosary. The Blessed Mother, is on loan to them from St. Joseph's until little Isa returns. As for family vacations, Sergio says his oldest son says, "I really don't want to leave town dad, I don't want to. He didn't want to go anywhere because she is not going with us. And Julian also."

Also waiting for Isa when she comes home, a brand new bedroom painted in her favorite color, purple.

The window through which Isa reportedly disappeared now has new curtains.

Her Christmas gifts, her Easter basket, all waiting for her.

And a new purple bike that Sergio won last October. They say it was a sign she's coming home.

Next to the bed, la Virgin de Guadalupe, a gift from Becky's aunt who was recently in Mexico City at the Basilica.

On her new bed, her favorite stuffed toys, and notes children have left in the mailbox. "God loves Isa, and she's coming home."

Little messages like that are keeping the Celis family going.

Also giving them hope is the support from their church and the community. Sergio says, "I just know, I know that she is out there. And I know that she is coming home.

On Sunday, events begin with a Mass at 9:15 at Saint Joseph's church on 215 S. Craycroft Rd.
That's followed by a safety and awareness fundraiser at Peter Piper Pizza across from Park Place Mall.

There will be arts, crafts, Ben's Bells and fingerprinting for children.

Donations will also be accepted through Wells Fargo: Bring Isa Home account.

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