Missing Tucson girl

Isabel Mercedes Celis

Photo provided by Tucson Police Department

A nine-year-old and an 11-year-old girl were arrested Saturday after falsely reporting to police that they were missing six-year-old Isabel Celis.

According to authorities, on Sunday morning around 9:09 a.m., the Tucson Police Department received a 911 call from a young female claiming to be Isabel Celis. The female, who called from a cell phone, stated she had been kidnapped and hung up the phone.

The cell phone was quickly traced to the 7200 block of East Pierce Place. Officers immediately began canvassing the area in search of the caller.

More than 25 Tucson Police Officers to include detectives from the Sex Offenders Registration and Tracking Unit responded to continue the investigation. Their investigation led them to an apartment complex located at 1345 South Kolb Road.

Officers made contact at an apartment with two juvenile females. The females admitted to making the phone call to 911 as a prank. The mother of the juveniles was at the apartment but unaware that the phone call had been made to 911.

Both juveniles were arrested for one count of False Reporting to a Law Enforcement Agency and booked into the Pima County Juvenile Corrections Center.

(1) comment


The act of the prank call is reprehensible. However, I think it is overkill to book a 9-year-old who poses no imminent danger to society. Arrest them, cite them, release them and let the court handle it. The judge could sentence them to community service--maybe a task involving missing children. I think law enforcement often thinks they are making an example and sending a message to others who might consider doing something like that. Looking at crime statistics, sending children to jail is obviously not delivering the message you think it is.

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