Celis case detectives keep search warrant sealed
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It will be at least another month-and-a half before we know what Tucson Police found in Isabel Celis's home. Investigators extended a request to keep those papers secret.
34 days after Isabel Celis disappeared, police shared a large stack of reports. But now, on day 70 there is one set of documents still locked away: the search warrants.
Police may not know for sure what happened in the Celis house the day the six year old girl disappeared but search warrants may offer their theories.
A search warrant release often includes transcripts of detectives convincing the judge to issue the warrant. They tell the judge what they think they may find. After the search, detectives report what they did find.
In early May, the parents told us, police used special compounds to find evidence.
Becky Celis said, "They used a lot of chemicals especially the kids rooms, the boys and Isa's room for evidence collection and so. We couldn't take the kids in there without having it professionally removed."
But detectives have asked over and over to keep the warrants sealed. They requested 30 days under seal at first; then another 45, then yet another 45 days.
That means the warrants will probably be locked up until late August---about four months after Isabel's disappearance.
Even without the warrants, we know some of what police found from reports they did release; including apparent blood on the floor of Isabel's bedroom.
In a car, they found a vinyl shower curtain with dark red or brown stains.
Soon after those reports came out in late May, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said some of the smallest clues can break a case.
"We never discount anything been doing for almost 32 years and you continue to get surprised."
Police will often avoid releasing certain information because it may be something only the criminal would know. But we've heard no elaboration on why they've kept the warrant information in this case sealed for so long.
Usually warrants are available within a few days of a crime but those are usually crimes where someone is under arrest and an arrest is still something we're waiting for in the Celis case.