Nearly $4,700 in resources was spent investigating a prank call made by a pair of sisters who called 911 Sunday and claimed to be missing Tucson 6-year-old Isabel Celis, the Tucson Police Department estimates.
The girls called 911 three times saying that a man was coming for them, giving the name “Isabel” and saying they were kidnapped, according to 911 tapes released Monday afternoon.
In the first call one girl repeats “he’s coming” when asked what she was calling to report, before hanging up the phone.
In the second call, a girl says “Isabel” when she’s asked what she’s reporting, when asked again why she was calling she replied “I’m kidnapped” and gave the address of “East Old Spanish Trail” when a dispatcher asked where she was calling from.
In the third call one of the girls again says “he’s coming.” When the dispatcher asked who’s coming she replies “The guy he’s coming for us, help me.”
Prosecutors are expected to decide this week whether charges will be filed against the two sisters who admitted to making the prank call.
The girls, ages 9 and 11, were arrested Sunday after one of the girls called from a cellphone, claimed to be Isabel and said she had been kidnapped. She then hung up, said Sgt. Chris Widmer, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.
Isabel is the Little League player who was reported missing by her father, Sergio Celis, from their midtown home April 21. Her abduction led to a massive law enforcement search and national media coverage that lasted for weeks.
Isabel has not been found.
Sunday's prank call was made shortly after 9 a.m. and traced to the 7200 block of East Pierce Place, near East 22nd Street and South Kolb Road.
Police immediately began canvassing the neighborhood in search of the caller, Widmer said.
More than 25 officers, including detectives from the Sex Offenders Registration and Tracking Unit, went to the neighborhood.
Their investigation led to an apartment complex at 1345 S. Kolb Road, Mirabella Apartment Homes. Police contacted the two sisters, who admitted to making the 911 phone call as a prank, Widmer said. The girls' mother was at the apartment but was unaware that her daughters had made the telephone call, said Widmer.
Police arrested the sisters each on suspicion of one count of false reporting to a law enforcement agency, and took them to Pima County Juvenile Detention Center.
The juvenile court did not detain the sisters because they did not meet the court's criteria for detention, said Stephen Rubin, the juvenile court's administrator.
He said the girls did not have any court record and were arrested on a misdemeanor offense. Whether they face charges is up to the Pima County Attorney's Office, Rubin said.
He refused to release their names.
Meanwhile, Isabel's mysterious disappearance continues to tug at the hearts of Tucsonans as volunteers have worked to keep the child's case in the public eye.
The child's father reported Isabel missing, telling police he went to wake her up about 8 a.m. April 21 because she had a 9 a.m. ballgame, but Isabel was not in her bedroom. The window screen to Isabel's bedroom had been removed, and the child was not in the house.
Billboards have sprung up in Phoenix and Tucson, and fliers with the child's face and physical description have been posted across the country, in northern Mexico and through social media.
Becky Celis, Isabel's mother, spoke nearly two weeks ago to let the community know that the Isabel Celis Faith and Hope Center is operating out of Christian Faith Fellowship, 5601 E. Broadway, near Craycroft Road.
The volunteers had been meeting at Abbie Loveland Tuller School on East 14th Street, just south of Park Place Mall.
Before then, they were operating from under a ramada at a shopping center at South Craycroft Road and East Broadway, not far from the child's home in the 5600 block of East 12th Street.
The Tucson Police Department continues the investigation but has not named any suspects nor shared what might have happened to the child.
Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4104.