Unedited audio: Celis 911 tapes reveal parents' sharply different reactions
Reporter: Aaron Brackett
Web Producers: Marissa Pasquet and Forrest Carr
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - On Monday, Tucson Police released the 911 audio recordings made the morning 6-year-old Isabel Celis went missing.
Before releasing the audio, police redacted the recordings, removing sensitive or private information. The raw clips are available in the video box in the upper left corner of this page precisely as they were released to the media. Gaps in parts of the recording may be due to police edits.
The 911 recordings, made Saturday, April 21, show that both Rebecca and Sergio made calls. In places Rebecca was nearly hysterical. By contrast, Sergio remained calm and collected. At one point, he even displayed a bit of humor. After telling police that he suspected his daughter had been abducted, Sergio calmly stated that Rebecca was at work, then added, "I just called her and told her to get her butt home." He then chuckled.
Part of audio transcription from the call made to 911 by Isabel's father Sergio Celis:
- 911 Dispatcher: What's her address?
- Father Sergio: 5602 E. 12th Street.
- 911 Dispatcher: What's your name sir?
- Father Sergio: My name is Sergio, S-E-R-G-I-O,"middle initial D, last name is C--E-L-I-S,
- Father Sergio: Yes.
- 911 Dispatcher: Okay, what's her name?
- Father Sergio: Isabel, I-S-B-E-L, uh, I-S-A-B-E-L, M as in man is the middle initial
- 911 Dispatcher: Okay, same last name?
- Father Sergio: Yes.
- 911 Dispatcher: Okay -- what's her actual birth date?
- Dispatcher: Okay-- Is mom there also?
- Father Sergio: Uh, she had just left for work, I just called her and I told her to get her butt home. (chuckles)
- 911 Dispatcher: Okay, mother.
- Father Sergio: But she was…
- 911 Dispatcher: What kind of vehicle is she going to be en route back in?
- Father Sergio: Uh, in our Lexus RX300, and it's red.
- 911 Dispatcher: Okay.
- Father Sergio: And she's coming from TMC, so she should just be coming straight down Craycroft.
- 911 Dispatcher: Okay. How tall is she?
- Father Sergio: She is 5'-2".
- 911 Dispatcher: No the, I'm sorry, you're daughter...
- Father Sergio: Oh my daughter. Um…forty inches. Thirty-- yeah 36 to 40 inches.
- 911 Dispatcher: Okay. Is she black, white, or Hispanic?
- Father Sergio: She's a fair skinned Hispanic with uh, clear eyes and light brown hair.
- 911 Dispatcher: And what do you mean by clear eyes? Like…
- Father Sergio: Uh, well they're a little bit green…
- 911 Dispatcher: Are they hazel or?
- Father Sergio:…green, green, hazel, sure...
- 911 Dispatcher: Hazel, okay. And you said she's about 40 inches tall...
- Father Sergio: Yeah...
- 911 Dispatcher: Do you remember what she was wearing last night when you saw her?
- Father Sergio: Uh, before she went to bed I believe she was wearing little navy blue shorts and, and a pink uh, and a pink little tank top type of a shirt.
Isabel went to bed by 11:00 p.m. Friday, her father told police. Celis said that when he went into her bedroom at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, he found her missing and called police. That is the time period reflected in the audio recordings.
In the recordings, Sergio also recounted the night before she disappeared:
- 911: Have you been having any weird phone calls, anything like that, someone hanging around?
- Sergio: No, we got home late from my son's baseball game, about 10:30 last night. Everyone took their showers and they all went to bed. I even was in the living room watching the Diamondbacks game at midnight, I fell asleep, and I never heard anything weird. I was just on the other side of the wall from her.
In another call, Rebecca Celis sounded much more hysterical as she told the dispatcher what little she knew of the situation.
Part of audio transcription from the call made to 911 by Isabel's mother Rebecca Celis:
- Mother Rebecca: She's only 5, only 6, can you please hurry and get someone over here!
- 911 Dispatcher: Officers are already on the way ma'am, we are just getting more information.
- 911 Dispatcher: Who noticed her gone, your husband?
- Mother Rebecca: My husband. I went to work this morning at 7:00 and I just, I didn't even come and check on her, I should have come and checked on her.
Police agreed to turn over the recordings in a 3:00 p.m. press conference in Tucson. During the conference, Chief Roberto Villaseñor confirmed what KGUN9 News reported over the weekend, that Isabel's two brothers were now with their mother, and that the father is not allowed to have any contact at all. The chief described the arrangement as voluntary, and said the parents agreed to it after detectives received information that could bear on the safety of the children. He declined to reveal what that information was.
Stay with KGUN9 News for more information as it becomes available.