The parents of a 6-year-old girl missing in Arizona spoke publicly for the first time since their daughter disappeared nearly a week ago, as hundreds of leads but no major breaks in the case came in.
"We do not want the focus to be taken off Isabel by us being in front of the cameras or by the media. We are here today to plea for a safe return of our baby girl Isabel." Becky Celis said Wednesday.
Surrounded by volunteers wearing "Bring Isa Home" T-shirts, Becky and Sergio Celis spoke in both English and Spanish in their eastside Tucson, Ariz., neighborhood where their daughter disappeared Friday night, NBC affiliate KVOA.com reported.
"We are cooperating to the fullest extent with the investigation," Sergio Celis said. "We are increasing the reward. Just please, please, to the person or persons who have Isabel: Tell us your demands. Tell us what you want. We will do anything for her. We are looking - we are looking for you, Isa. We love, and we miss you so much. We will never give up. We will never give up looking for you."
Investigators have received 300 leads in the girl's disappearance, NBC's Miguel Almaguer reported Thursday. But with no big break in the case, they urged Isabel's parents to go public. She was reported missing Saturday morning.
No suspects have been arrested in the case. Police say Isabel's parents are working with investigators.
The parents have said Isabel, who has two older brothers, was last seen when she was put to bed on Friday night. The family awoke Saturday morning to find the hazel-eyed girl's bed empty, they told police.
Authorities say a window to the girl's ground-floor room was open, and a screen was missing.
Police have said they are treating the girl's disappearance as a "possible abduction" but have yet to rule anyone in or out as a suspect.
Fliers and posters with photos of Isabel's smiling face, some of her wearing a blue bow in her light brown hair, were plastered all over town. The Pima County Attorney's Office posted an $8,000 reward, most of it from private donations, for information leading to an arrest in the case.
The search widened on Tuesday to washes surrounding the middle-class urban neighborhood. Police investigators have been paired with FBI agents to knock on every door within a three-mile radius of the family's home, and all local trash companies have been contacted, said Tucson police Chief Roberto Villasenor.
The family was given the go-ahead to return to their modest single-story house on Wednesday morning, after FBI behavioral analysts had examined the home. The entire block remained cordoned off with police tape, and squad cars were posted at each end. Villasenor reiterated that the search continues.
"All we think about is bringing her back safely," he said.
Investigators also have collected surveillance video from nearby businesses in hopes that some clues might have been caught on camera. A landfill and refuse-transfer station that serve the area have been secured and will be searched, he said.
"We're at about 300 tips and leads," and all will be pursued, Villasenor said. He added: "We are now concentrating our search on ... some focal points where we're hoping we'll have more success."
It was not clear whether the FBI's behavioral analysis team had spotted anything of interest in the family's home that two physical searches of the dwelling, including a sweep with specially trained dogs, had overlooked.
The behavioral analysts planned to interview family members and other witnesses, and Villasenor said the parents were cooperating with investigators. "Obviously (these) are times of emotional distress for them," he said.
This article includes reporting by NBC station KVOA in Tucson and Reuters.
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