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Monday, April 23, 2012

Isabel Mercedes Celis case: Family asked to leave home after FBI dogs find clue

Police asked the family of missing 6-year-old Isabel Mercedes Celis to leave their Tucson home on Monday after search dogs found clues that could shed new light on the little girl's disappearance.

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor didn't say what the FBI canine unit found during the overnight search, only that the evidence required "more followup," ABC News reported.

In the meantime, the first-grader's parents, Sergio and Becky Celis, and two brothers were asked to leave the home until further notice, and the house was being treated like a crime scene.

Villasenor also said that investigators were considering a broken window screen in Isabel's bedroom as a "possible entry point" for someone who may have abducted her.

“We have a window that was opened and a screen removed. We’re labeling it as suspicious circumstances and a possible abduction,” he told CNN on Monday morning.

Isabel was last seen by her parents at 11 p.m. on Friday.

She was reported missing at around 8 a.m. Saturday after her mother went to work and her father went to wake her up.

Police upgraded the case from a missing child to a possible abduction over the weekend, and search and rescue teams fanned out across the area on Sunday in a desperate hunt for the girl.

An entire block around the family home was cordoned off and more than 250 people, including friends, family, FBI agents, bloodhound teams and deputy U.S marshals, were canvassing the area, knocking on doors and posting flyers.

Investigators were also in the process of checking on the status of sex offenders in the area.

Police have no suspects, and Villansenor said the family was cooperating.

Celis' uncle Justin Mastromarino told ABC News that Isabel's parents were devastated by the disappearance of their "sweet little girl."

"They're very upset right now, mother is beside herself," he said. "We're just trying to let police do their thing and get as much info as possible."

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