Memorial for Isabel grows outside Celis home

'Not the ending any of us had hoped for'
Published: Apr. 1, 2017 at 1:39 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 11:13 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - There's a growing memorial at the front gate of the Celis home in Tucson.

The home, near Broadway and Craycroft, is the last place Isabel Celis was seen alive.

Friday night, mere hours after authorities announced they've recovered Isabel's remains, people began leaving purple balloons and flowers.

MORE COVERAGE: Remains of Isabel Celis found; family releases statement Finding Justice For Isabel l Photos Of Isabel

A neighbor who lives a few houses down said he remembers that chilling morning, April 21, 2012, went Isabel went missing and her brother came to their home in a panic.

"I said what do you mean your sister is missing?," David Pike said. "So, I walked down to the sidewalk and he said 'we can't find her. She's not in bed, she's not in her room.'"

Pike has kept Isabel's missing person poster taped to the front door of his home for the past five years. He said his grandchildren are now the same age as Isabel was when she was abducted.

He said he remembers how scary it was as she just seemed to vanish from her home. Police went door to door, canvassing neighborhoods and searching for her at great lengths.

Pike said he was devastated when he heard the news that her remains had been found in a rural area of Pima County.

"We've been hoping that...she'd make it home," Pike said.

In a statement released to the media, the Celis family has requested privacy.

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