The Main Stream

Apr 29, 2012 11:20 PM

Mother of missing child relates to Isabel's disappearance

TUCSON - It's now been nine days since Isabel Celis disappeared from her house. Gail Leland, knows all too well what the Celis family is going through.

She went through it when her own son Richard disappeared in 1981. The pain and the anguish came back when she learned about little Isabel's disappearance. "It also brought back memories not only of my son missing but all the families I've worked with since then."

Leland talks about the helpless feeling parents have. "I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I paced the floor. On one hand you want to go searching for them and then on the other hand you want to stay home and be there in case they come or call."

Leland says her heart goes out to the parents and family of Isabel Celis. She says they're probably frustrated because police are giving out limited information. "The police are probably just as frustrated, because they are doing stuff behind the scenes but they can't tell you what it is."

She has some advice for the parents, eat, try to get some sleep, and never give up hope. "You got to take care of yourself because she's going to come home and she's going to need you. And she's going to need you to be strong and healthy."

Leland commends the Tucson Police Department and their efforts in finding Isabel Celis. She says the technology and the methods of investigating missing children have come a long way since her son disappeared.

Richard Leland's remains were found a month after he disappeared. Gail Leland started parents of murdered children, which then became homicide survivors. Due to health reasons she retired as executive director.

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