Isabel Celis' neighbors: "She's still alive and she's coming home"
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Apr. 26, 2012
Reporter: Kevin Keen
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Six long days of searching for little Isabel Celis; six long days of uncertainty, stress and worrying in the six year old’s Tucson neighborhood. For days, neighbors have had federal agents knocking on their doors, officers asking to see identification every time they enter and leave the block, and their homes repeatedly searched. All the while, someone they're close to--in more than one way--has disappeared.
“Some of us are pretty wound up and haven't got much sleep,” said Gerry Pike, who lives a few houses down from the Celis home. “I know for me, I haven't gotten sleep in about six days.”
“I never thought this would happen in my neighborhood, and I never thought I'd see this in my life happen to somebody I care about,” added Gerry’s brother, Chris.
The Pikes are Celis family friends, deeply saddened at the disappearance of little Isa and shaken by what’s followed.
For days, dozens of law enforcement officers took over the neighborhood, with helicopters above, police tape surrounding and repeated questioning coming at them.
“I didn't mind doing it, but it just didn't feel like I was going home," said Linda Pike, Gerry and Chris’ mother.
Officers searched the Pikes' home twice and interviewed everyone at least four times. Across the street, Penny Gale told 9 On Your Side officials did not interview her.
“I really did not have anybody knocking on my door,” Gale said. 9 On Your Side reporter Kevin Keen asked, “You’ve been interviewed?” “No,” she answered. Keen then asked, “You have not been interviewed? That surprises me. Does that surprise you?” Gale answered, “I guess it's because I'm always gone all the time.”
Gale said another neighbor let law enforcement in to search one time while she was away and feels she has nothing to add to the investigation.
Keen asked Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor if it was possible a neighbor like her wasn’t interviewed.
“I find that very hard to believe, but if you could please give us her name and tell her also to contact us,” Villaseñor said. “We've plead with everyone through your resources, through our resources. If there's anyone living in the area that has not been contacted by us, please, they can call us at 88-CRIME or they can come here to the Midtown station and make contact here. We want to talk to everyone.”
Keen told that to Gale, who said she would contact 88-CRIME.
Despite everything, Gale and the Pikes do not mind any inconvenience of the past six days.
“Because they have to find the little girl,” Linda said. “Whatever is necessary to find that little girl. I don't care if they have to bring an army here. My security doesn't matter, my feeling that this is my home doesn't matter, the only that matter in this community--should concentrate on--is that little girl coming home safe and sound.”
“Do you have hope?” Keen asked Gerry. “I was always have hope. Not one bad thought has come to my mind.”
“Of course I have hope,” Gale said. “The longer it goes, the scarier it gets.”
"She's still alive and she's coming home," Linda said. "That's the only way I can look at it. I think that's the way everyone should look at it."
“They just need to bring her home,” Chris said. “All I want is for her to be brought home--back safe and sound.”