Man indicted in deaths of Isabel Celis and Maribel Gonzales
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Twice in two years, a young Tucson girl disappeared and ended up dead in a patch of desert in rural Pima County.
Isabel Celis and Maribel Victoria Gonzales didn't share much else in common.
Isabel was 6 years old when she vanished from her parents' east-side home in April 2012. Just two years later, a 13-year-old Maribel disappeared while walking to a friend’s house.
Both girls were later found dead near Trico and West Avra Valley roads.
A major indictment announced Saturday, Sept. 15 is bringing their cases together.
Multiple law enforcement agencies said Christopher Matthew Clements is facing 22 felony charges, including two counts of first-degree murder.
The 36-year-old Clements is being held at the Maricopa County Jail on unrelated charges, but he will be extradited to Tucson.
Authorities said the big break in the case came in early 2017, when someone told the FBI Clements had information about Celis' disappearance.
After the TPD talked with Clements, Celis remains were found.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Clements has a history of sex crimes.
In 1998, he was convicted of attempted unlawful sexual penetration with a foreign object in Oregon.
In 2006, Clements was convicted of failure to register as a sex offender while living in Florida.
The announcement was made during a joint news conference by the Tucson Police Department, Pima County Sheriff’s Department and Pima County Attorney’s Office.
Isabel disappeared from her bedroom under suspicious circumstances April 21, 2012. Over the
years authorities worked through more than 2,200 leads, but the case went nowhere until now.
The case went cold for years until human remains were found in early 2017.
By March 2017, DNA analysis confirmed the body belonged to Isabel.
In June 2014, Maribel left her home to walk to a friend’s house.
She never arrived and her parents called police the next day when she didn’t return home.
Two days after she was last seen, Maribel’s body was found stripped of clothing and buried under two car tires.
• April 20, 2012: 11 p.m., Isabel Mercedes Celis went to bed in her bedroom.
• April 21, 2012: Around 8 a.m., family members call 911 after they discover Isabel is not in the house.
• April 22, 2012: FBI search dogs arrive from Virginia to aid in the search.
• April 23, 2012: Celis family and 88-CRIME post $6,000 reward.
• March 2017: Human remains discovered near North Trico and West Avra Valley roads in rural Pima County.
• March 31, 2017: DNA analysis confirms remains are those of Isabel Celis.
• Sept. 15, 2018: Authorities announce indictment of Christopher Matthew Clements in Isabel’s death.
• June 3, 2014: Maribel Gonzales leaves home to walk and visit a friend.
• June 4, 2014: Gonzales reporting missing by her family after she fails to come home.
• June 6, 2014: Human remains discovered near North Trico and West Avra Valley roads in rural Pima County.
• June 20, 2014: DNA analysis confirms remains are those of Maribel Gonzales.
• Sept. 15, 2018: Authorities announce indictment of Christopher Matthew Clements in Maribel’s death.
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