May 10, 2012 5:27 PM

Police: Celis investigation cost in excess of $1m to date

TUCSON - In the latest update to the news media, Tucson Police confirmed that the total costs for the Isabel Celis investigation are now in excess of $1 million.

This is a rough estimate, Sgt. Maria Hawke said. The first four days of the search for Isabel alone cost about $340,000, and to date, the Tucson Police Department has paid out overtime costs of about $250,000.

About 20 investigators and 30 support staffers are still working over 1,000 leads and tips that have come in since the 6-year-old's disappearance 20 days ago. She said that TPD officers "intend on utilizing every resource available" until all the leads are exhausted.

Sgt. Hawke noted that while statistically, the chance of finding Isabel alive is dropping with each day, there are plenty of examples of children being found weeks, months, and even years after their initial disappearance.

"We have every hope that as long as we keep investigating to the fullest extent that we can, we will be able to bring her home safely," Sgt. Hawke said. "Not only that, but prosecute the person that did this."

When questioned, Sgt. Hawke detailed the process of setting up the Celis family's interview with local news media, held last week.

She said that after the family spoke to the national NBC News outlet, they had a desire to speak to local media outlets, "in light of fact that this is their community, this is where Isa lives," Sgt. Hawke said.

The family had originally requested just one camera and one interviewer, but ultimately chose one interviewer from each of the three major news outlets in Tucson.

"They asked for very specific things," Sgt. Hawke said.

Hawke concluded the conference by saying that barring any major developments in the case, there would be no media briefings this weekend, and the next news conference will be held Monday at 2 p.m.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.


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