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Prominent forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee said Friday that possible blood stains discovered by police in the Isabel Celis investigation could provide significant information.
Lee, well-known for his work on O.J. Simpson's defense team, told HLN's Nancy Grace that details contained in newly released police reports may be crucial to solving the mystery of the 6-year-old's disappearance.
One document obtained by HLN Friday states that "apparent blood" was found in the middle bedroom in the east side of the house. It also notes that a shower curtain and white hat with red-brown stains on them were found in one of the cars outside the home.
Field tests to determine whether the stains on curtain were from blood were not completed at the scene, and Dr. Lee suggested there may be a good reason for that. If the stain was small enough, the field test could destroy too much of it to allow DNA testing to be done later, he said. Lee added that forensic tests on a complete sample could enable investigators to determine whether the blood is human, whose blood it is and whether someone has tried to clean it.
The police reports also show that footprints were found on an electrical box behind the Celis house. According to Lee, those footprints could have great investigative value. Examination of a shoeprint can reveal the height and weight of the individual who left it and potentially even the brand of shoe they wore. Lee said authorities have likely searched for linkage to similar prints in or around the house, in a neighbor's yard or anywhere else in the area.
For more on the story, go to www.hlntv.com
Newly released police reports are raising more questions in the search for missing 6-year-old Isabel Celis. The reports were provided to some news organizations, HLN is currently seeking its own copies.
ABC News reports that documents released Thursday by the Tucson Police Department reveal “apparent blood” was found on the floor of one of the bedrooms in her family’s home. According to HLN affiliate KOLD, the reports also show a white hat and shower curtain with “dark red-brown or brown stains” were removed from a car at the house.
Among other possible evidence detailed in the documents, investigators photographed writing on Isabel’s closet-door frame and walls, the Arizona Daily Star reported. Footprints were believed to be found on an electrical box behind the house and on the ground nearby.
Isabel Celis was reported missing on the morning of April 21. Her parents, Sergio and Becky Celis, said she vanished sometime after they put her to bed around 11:30 the previous night. Becky Celis reportedly left for work around 7:30 a.m. without checking on Isabel. Sergio Celis said in his 911 call that when he went to wake her around 8:00, she was gone. When police arrived, her bedroom window was open and the screen was in the backyard.
Police have said they believe Isabel was abducted, but they have not named any suspects in the case.
Friday night, HLN’s Nancy Grace investigates what these new details could mean. Do they bring us any closer to learning what happened to Isabel Celis? Find out on Nancy Grace Friday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET only on HLN.
Police said Monday they will return to the neighborhood where a 6-year-old Tucson girl was reported missing a month ago in hopes of speaking with residents who may not have been interviewed when the area was originally canvassed.
Tucson Police Lt. Fabian Pacheco told reporters at an afternoon press conference that officers investigating the disappearance of Isabel Celis also plan to re-interview all of the Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders nearby whose crimes targeted children under 10 years old. They have spoken to more than 540 registered sex offenders since Isabel was reported missing on April 21.
Pacheco said police will distribute a new flyer that asks several questions of people living or working in the general vicinity of the Celis home:
Isabel’s parents, Sergio and Becky Celis, told police that she vanished from her bedroom in the middle of the night after they put her to sleep on April 20. In his 911 call, Sergio Celis said he went to wake her around 8:00 a.m. on April 21, but she was gone and her window was open with the screen lying in the backyard.
According to Pacheco, police are still considering the possibility that Isabel was abducted by a stranger, but they have not ruled out anyone, including family members, as suspects. He said the Celis family has been cooperating with the investigation so far and he hopes they will continue to do so.
Pacheco also announced that Monday’s press briefing was the last regularly scheduled update on the case police will be holding.
At a vigil over the weekend, Becky Celis spoke out in defense of Sergio, who has not been charged or named as a suspect in the case. He recently reached a voluntary agreement with Child Protective Services to stay away from their other two children. Authorities have not commented on what led to that decision.
“He’s a great husband, a great father to the boys and to Isabel,” Becky Celis told KGUN. “At the end of the day when Isabel comes home, everybody’s questions will be answered.”
“I need to report a missing child. I believe she was abducted from my house,” he said. Asked why he believes she was abducted, however, he responded, “I have no idea.”
On the morning of April 21, Celis called 911 to report that Isabel was gone when he went to wake her up and her bedroom window was open with the screen laying the backyard. “My sons are running around the house looking for her,” he said.
According to Celis, the family got home from his son’s baseball game around 10:30 the previous night and the kids went to sleep soon after that. He told the dispatcher he had been watching TV in the living room at midnight and “never heard anything weird.”
“I was like just on the other side of the wall from her,” he said.
Isabel’s mother Becky had already left for work when Sergio Celis called 911. “I just called her. I told her to get her butt home,” he said.
In a separate 911 call, Becky Celis sounded more emotional and at times panicked as she tried to explain what happened.
“I went to work this morning at 7 and I just, I didn’t even come in and check on her. I should have checked on her,” she said.
Becky Celis told a dispatcher she had put braided ponytails in Isabel’s hair before she went to bed. She said Isabel was wearing an Old Navy American flag t-shirt and navy blue shorts when she last saw her.
Isabel’s 14-year-old brother also spoke to the dispatcher.
“Someone broke in and grabbed her,” he said, adding that it looked like the screen was taken off her bedroom window.
Also on Monday, police confirmed that there has been a voluntary agreement between Sergio Celis and Child Protective Services that he will stay away from his two sons. They would not say what led to that decision.
Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor cautioned reporters at an afternoon press conference not to read too much into the development and said it is not indicative of a specific path investigators are pursuing.
For expert analysis of the Celis 911 calls, watch Nancy Grace Tuesday at 8 pm and 10 pm ET on HLN, and go to www.HLNtv.com for all the latest news on the case.