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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA students organize efforts to find missing Tucson girl

Gordon Bates / Daily Wildcat A vigil was held on Tuesday for Isabel Celis, a 6 year old female who went missing on Friday night. Many say she was abducted.

A sea of people wearing purple rallied on Tuesday in support of finding Isabel Celis, a 6-year-old girl who went missing early Saturday morning.

About 200 community members gathered at Freedom Park on East 29th Street to share prayers, thoughts and memories of Isabel.

In addition, there was a candlelight vigil and a ceremony in which people tied purple ribbons to the fence of the baseball field where she played for the Diamondbacks Little League baseball team. Communities affected by Isabel’s abduction extend all the way to the UA, where two students are organizing an effort to help find her — Denisse Ortega, a political science senior, and Ramon Munoz, a biosystems engineering senior.

Ortega said she worked closely with Isabel’s mother, Becky Celis, at the Tucson Medical Center. Munoz said that Ortega has been working hard to rally students to help her in this effort.

Ortega said Office Max donated flyers that she and a team of UA students have posted all around campus and beyond. As of Monday, Munoz said, he and the rest of the students have been trying to get Isabel’s picture on billboards around Tucson to raise awareness about the incident. Munoz also added that the team is planning to host a softball game to collect donations to help cover the Celis family’s expenses.

Some vigil attendees knew the Celis family personally, but others were simply Tucson residents who wanted to show their support. Many cried as the crowd sang “You are My Sunshine.”

Isabel’s little league team and its opponents came fresh off the field after a game to release purple balloons.

“My heart goes out to the family,” said George Hannah, the field manager and a coach of Freedom Little League baseball. Hannah added that he could not fathom the grief that the family could be going through.

Melissa Munoz, a woman whose two young daughters were playmates of Isabel’s, said she as a parent was scared because of what has happened. She added that she knew things like this happen all the time, but the fact that it happened so close to home is “something to be
aware of.”

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