Missing Isabel Celis: One Year Later
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Isabel Celis's bedroom is different. It's walls are painted purple -- with polka dots -- just what she asked for -- before she suddenly vanished.
Isa's mother, Becky Celis, says the new room is her present to her little girl. "Because it's a hope for when she comes home, looking at her face and seeing 'Oh my god, my room' and being so excited about it."
This purple bike is a birthday gift -- a corner contains Christmas gifts -- reminders of the many special occasions she missed at home this past year. But it's the little moments in life -- the moments so many parents treasure -- that seems to hurt the most. "Getting our nails done and going and doing little things here and there. They took all that away from us. So, just even doing her homework or doing her hair."
Becky and Sergio describe the past year this way -- life has been an emotional rollercoaster. one moment -- a surge of anger that she's gone. The next, the resentment they say they feel as accusatory fingers point at them. "Even if they had the truth in front of them they'd still make speculations and I'm not going to waste my time trying to defend something. I'm just going to say wait until Isa comes home."
As Becky and Sergio returned to work life steadied a bit, but they remain down a steady path of hurt and heartache.
Isa is a big part of our life but I cant ignore my other two kids. I have to make sure that they're okay and safe so that again we're strong enough for when Isa comes home."
They say their faith has been tested, but holds strong. They can't seem to escape plunging into the depth of despair. "Not knowing where she's at, how she is."
Often facing the fear of the unknown that exists beyond every twist and turn. "How long it's going to take for her to come home. That's it. I can handle everything else. how long it's going to take for her to come home."
And should this rollercoaster end, Becky and Sergio say, they are preparing for two things. To help their daughter, Isa, cope with the horror she's faced. "I have no idea how she's going to come home. We have to be able to be strong enough to handle whatever it is that comes home."
But after they walk her into her purple polka dotted dream bedroom. "Do those polka dots give you hope?" All of it. the whole thing."