TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Two young girls were arrested Sunday after they called police pretending to be Isabel Celis and saying they had been kidnapped, according to Sgt. Chris Widmer with Tucson Police.
Widmer tells KGUN9 that police received the 9-1-1 call from what sounded like a little girl saying her name was Isabel and she had been kidnapped.\
"This is definitely not something you joke about," said Lt. Lee McNitt.
Police responded with more than 25 officers to the 7200 block of E. Pierce Pl. to conduct a search of the area after the call came in.
"This is a case that is extremely important to the entire community and to the nation, so it's important that we are able to bring our resources to bear in a positive manner, instead of kids who were playing on the telephone," McNitt said.
The search led officers to an apartment complex at 1345 S. Kolb Rd.
"They wanted permission to go through our homes," said neighbor Candace Sutherland.
Police found the two girls, ages 9 and 11, in an apartment and they admitted that they had pretended to be Isabel Celis and did not have any information about the missing girl.
The mother of the girls was also there but did not know about the phone call. Neighbors sounded off on the girls' behavior, especially after hearing the Celis family was briefed on today's developments.
"As a parent, it's devastating, it's not a joke and not a laughing matter," Sutherland said. "My heart goes out to the Celis family, and I hope one day they do find their daughter."
"That's sad for all the people who have been trying to find her," Carlos Lopez said.
They were both arrested for one count of false reporting to police and booked into the Pima County Juvenile Corrections Center.
Tucson Police would like to stress that this case is "not a joke" and that police continue to take any calls coming in regarding the missing girl seriously.
Isabel Celis was reported missing on April 21, after she was reportedly taken from her Tucson home.
If you have any information about this case, call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.