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'Possible entry point' found in search for Isabel Mercedes Celis, 6, in Tucson

Updated at 11:16 p.m. ET: Investigators found "suspicious circumstances around a possible entry point" at the home of a 6-year-old Arizona girl whose disappearance has prompted a massive search, with more than 150 law enforcement officers trying to figure out whether she was abducted, a police spokeswoman said Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Tucson police Sgt. Maria Hawke wouldn't comment Sunday on whether the entry point was a bedroom window or a door. But family friend Mary Littlehorn said she heard from others close to the family that a window screen in the girl's bedroom had been knocked down.

The parents of first-grader Isabel Mercedes Celis have said they last saw her in her bedroom at 11 p.m. Friday, according to Hawke. She was discovered missing at about 8 a.m. Saturday, and the parents phoned 911 minutes later.

Officers kept the whole neighborhood block where Isabel lives cordoned off for a second day and fanned out over a wide area looking for clues to the possible kidnapping. A fourth search of a three-mile radius around the home was completed Sunday afternoon in temperatures that reached the high-90s, police Lt. Fabian Pacheco said at a Sunday evening news conference.


Pacheco wouldn't comment on the suspicious "entry point," saying: "I don't want to compromise anything."

Earlier Sunday, Tucson police chief Roberto Villasenor said officers had served at least two search warrants. The girl's parents, identified by friends as Becky and Sergio Celis, were helpful as police worked to find their youngest child, he said. He said police were still classifying the case as a "suspicious disappearance/possible abduction."

"We're not ruling anything out of the investigation at this point because we really need to keep our mind open about all the information that's been brought to us," Villasenor said. "The family has been cooperating with us."

Littlehorn, who gathered Sunday with other family friends at a police command post, said authorities separated the two parents for hours Saturday as they questioned them. She said it was difficult for them knowing their little girl was out there somewhere.

"She hasn't been allowed to help look for her daughter," Littlehorn said of Becky Celis.

The massive search resumed Sunday morning.

Scores of police, FBI agents and deputy U.S. marshals combed the city’s east side for Isabel. Officials tried to determine if the girl was kidnapped or just wandered off.

Isabel’s parents last saw her in bed at 11 p.m. Friday, and they discovered her missing when they woke up around 8 a.m. Saturday, Tucson police spokeswoman Sgt. Maria Hawke said.

Police using dogs and a helicopter were still out late Saturday night, police communications operator Patrick Olea said.

Friends of the family distributed fliers with a photo of Isabel, NBC station KVOA in Tucson reported.

"We're really surprised or shocked that anything like this could happen to our family," the girl's uncle, Justin Mastromarino, told KVOA.

Hawke said investigators were looking into all potential scenarios, including the possibility that Isabel got up and wandered out of the home she shares with her parents and two brothers or that she was kidnapped.

Investigators also were examining every door and window of the house for signs of a break-in, Hawke said.

Both parents live in the home, so police had no indication a child custody dispute was involved but weren't completely ruling it out.

"We don't want to be caught behind the ball by not exploring that possibility," Hawke said Saturday afternoon.

The working-class neighborhood of single-family homes is sandwiched between a large shopping mall to the east and businesses and a Catholic school to the west.

Isabel is described as just under 4 feet tall and weighing 44 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. She is missing her two front teeth.

This article includes reporting by The Associated Press.

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