Parents of Isabel Celis Make Risky Plea for Missing Daughter, But It's Worth It (VIDEO)

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Isabel CelisWell, we asked for it. Isabel Celis' parents came out in front of the TV cameras to beg for the return of their missing 6-year-old. And now we know why Becky and Sergio Celis have been hiding behind closed doors.

They didn't want the attention. And after days of wondering where they were, the Celises' excuse makes perfect sense.

They need the media's attention to stay on the little girl who went missing from her bed in the middle of the night. She is all that matters right now ... not them. As Becky tearfully told the cameras:

We don't want the focus to be taken off Isabel by us standing in front of the cameras or by the media. We are here today to plea for the safe return of our baby girl Isabel.

Watching her stumble over the words, I understood what she meant. The minute the parents of a missing child are in the spotlight, they become the story. Look at Missouri baby Lisa Irwin. Her mom, Deborah Bradley, took to TV last fall, and all of a sudden we were debating her alcohol problems. Then there's the back and forth between Ayla Reynolds' feuding parents that's kept the Maine toddler's disappearance in the news but the focus on their custody battles.

As a mother, I couldn't understand how the Celises could stay silent for so long. But as a journalist, I get it. The story here is that a 6-year-old child hasn't been heard from since Friday night. The more time the media spends driving that home, the more outraged people will be. Hopefully they'll turn that outrage into something positive; like getting out there to look for Isabel.

But even as I understand why they tried to stay quiet, I'm glad the Celis family took the risk of shifting attention their way and came forward the way they did anyway. Seeing their grief, seeing their pain, humanizes this whole ordeal. It can be an incredible motivator to make people look around them and check the kids they are seeing to spot that little face they saw on the fliers. Hopefully Sergio and Becky Celis' risk pays off. Hopefully this little girl is found.

Take a listen to what these parents had to say:


How do you feel when you watch parents of a missing child speak out?

crime, missing person


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the4m... the4mutts

As cruel as it may sound, they're wasting their time. Let the cops do their job. Let the media focus on the child. Let a lawyer make a statement. SOMETHING other than bothering speaking to the media.

We may feel badly for these parents, but will seeing their pain help anyone? Will their appearance on Tv bring their kid back? No.

Their best bets are to go on searches, talk to neighbors, plead with owners of security cameras, call everyone they know and ask for help keeping an eye out for her.

The media is a parent's enemy. They will now focus on the parents, instead of the child.

KenneMaw KenneMaw

I saw the footage on TV and honestly, I dont' think the father appears sincere.  He seemed to be 'acting' emotional instead of truly being emotional.     One of the neighbors says her dogs were barking crazy at abot 6am and she thought she heard 2 men talking.  She didn't hear the girl, but thought she heard their dogs (the Celis') barking like crazy.  Honestly, I don't understand how kids get abducted through bedroom windows.  Doesn't it seem very difficult and very risky?  Most criminals want a quick/easy crime.

jaxmadre jaxmadre

KeeneMaw -- it's comments like yours that are the reason why they didn't want to make a public appearance. They get analyzed and judged.

Let's just hope their daughter is found safe. I can't imagine the torture this must be for them. I would be a mental case in their position.

jaxmadre jaxmadre

And keep in mind,  men are usually a lot less emotional than women. I can't see the video where I'm at, so I didn't see it, but, men and women react diffierently to things, even involving their babies. It doesn't make them guilty or bad people.

MsRkg MsRkg

@Keenemaw - its honestly not that hard to pop out a screen and then push up the window and if it's latched, its as simple as getting a thin flat piece (think car lock jimmy without the hook) of metal between the panes and sliding the latch open.

I feel for these parents, but yea they don't need to be on TV. They should instead be talking with neighbors and canvassing store security footage. Media in this situation, while it might keep the spotlight on Isabel , will begin to highlight whatever troubles and skeleton's her parents have.

nonmember avatar Lord K

@ the4mutts - they're wasting their time because they aren't arresting the father! It's obvious what happened, Isabel was probably about to tell mommy what daddy has been doing to her!

Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

Oh brother....cases like this and articles like this drive me nuts. One minute you blast the parents and say it makes them look guilty because they are "hiding". Now they are judged anyway because they made the plea that people thought they should. The father didn't look sincere enough, the mother looked like this.... I understand that many times it is found that parents had somthing to do with it. But until its proven otherwise, this is a couple who's daughter is missing. Its judgements like this that takes the focus off of the little girl.

mommy... mommyinVA

I can't say if the parents are sincere or not, because i don't know them first hand.   However, based on what the neighbor has said, I think the person responsible for Isa's abduction is likely someone close to home.   Someone that probably knew their routines, where is Isa slept, what time the mother went to work ( mother was reported to have been at work super early that day), etc. 

One thing I keep thinking about is the dogs barking .  How is that the neighbor's dog and the Celis family dogs go crazy barking at 6:30am and no one from the Celis home comes out to see what's going on?  If my dogs were barking loud at an unusual hour, I'd come out to find out why.   Wouldn't you?


Pak31 Pak31

What I don't understand is why they waited 6 days to make a public plea to their daughter's kidnapper? You do that on day one, not day 6. Most children kidnapped need to be found within 24 hours. Their presser was upsetting to me, yes they were emotional but it was all about them. First thing mom said was to keep the focus off of, then she changed it to keep the focus on Isabel. Why are they concerned with anything but finding their daughter? Then the dad had to announce that they are cooperating fully. To me this whole thing was damage control for them. Their words just didn't seem from the heart to me. Just the fact that they haven't been cleared as suspects worries me. Either they refused a polygraph or failed. The uncle spoke of her in the past tense which also worries me. I guess I wish we had a better timeline to go off of because so many things are missing. I am just very concerned as to why Isabels dad would make this heartwrenching plea to his daughter's kidnapper to tell him their demands on day SIX??? He waits almost a week to publicly beg is beloved daughter's captors?? THen his first statements arent' to or about his daughter, it's to tell everyone that they are cooperating. Too scripted and not natural at all.

nonmember avatar lb

I think the father was molesting he had to get rid of her,trust me the police know what happened and so do the Fbi they just cant tell he public until they gather all evidence of the investigation.

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