Isabel Celis search: A family torn apart one month later

Isabel Celis search: A family torn apart one month later

CREATED May 19, 2012

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- Each time that the Sergio and Rebecca Celis had been seen in public -- in the media -- they were together. Each time they asked the Sergio often took the lead when being interviewed. But that changed earlier this week after Tucson police said CPS stepped in and Sergio voluntarily agreed to no longer have contact with his sons until the investigation is over.

At a candlelight vigil on Friday, Rebecca described how the separation has affected the family. "We're always together. He's been a coach for years for the boys and Isabel. It's very hard."

She told KGUN9 that her sons are hanging in there. "The boys are doing okay. They're having a hard time. We're not together as a family so it's really hard on them. So there's more stress on the situation, but they're strong."

Sergio was forced to watch Friday night's vigil from behind the walls of the Celis family home, where he remained silent. But Sergio's sister, Elena Lukasiewicz, spoke out and described how her brother is struggling to cope with the change. "And witnessing the agony that Sergio is suffering not having or finding his little girl Isabel and his being apart from his wife and sons," said Lukasiewicz.

Since the separation, public scrutiny has escalated --  a situation Rebecca never thought she would be in. "It's tough. We're already under a lot of stress because we don't have Isabel here. So to have more thrown on us. But we're strong and we'll be okay.  We'll survive it, we just want her back," said Rebecca.

She believes that police will find her daughter and she'll return back where she belongs -- at home.  "We are confident police will find her. We don't want to ruin anything they they may have with finding her. We just want all their confidence focused on finding Isabel."