Man indicted in killing of Tucson girls: Isabel Celis and Maribel Gonzalez

A man has been indicted in the separate killing of two Tucson girls —  Isabel Celis and Maribel Gonzales, officials said in a news conference today.

Isabel, 6, whose remains were discovered in early March 2017 in rural northwest Pima County, was taken from her midtown home; and Maribel, 13, was whose body was found in June 2014 in the same general area disappeared after she told family she was going to visit a friend.

The big break in the cases came in 2017 when the FBI received a tip about a man who might have information about Isabel’s disappearance.

On March 3, 2017, after talking to the man, Christopher Clements, officials were able to find Isabel’s remains.

They were discovered in the same general area where Maribel’s body had been found.

Clements, 36, was indicted Friday on 22 charges related to the killing of the two girls. Those include two counts of first degree murder; two counts of kidnapping of a minor; and one count of burglary of a residential structure.

Clements also was indicted on 14 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Those charges stem from allegations Clements was dealing with child pornography.

County Attorney Barbara LaWall said Saturday that her office assigned three prosecutors to the case against Clements.

Isabel went missing from her midtown home on the night of April 20, 2012, prompting a massive search and thousands of tips to police.


Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall and Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier at a press conference about homicide cases of Isabel Celis and Maribel Gonzalez at TPD on Sept. 15, 2018.

Isabel’s father, Sergio, reported her missing the next morning after he and his sons searched the house and the oldest boy found her window open with a screen laying in the backyard.

Tucson police Chief Chris Magnus this morning praised the department for sorting through several thousands tips in the case and pursuing the investigation for years.

Maribel was reported missing June 4, 2014 a day after she told family she was going to visit a friend. The case was initially investigated as a runaway.

Maribel’s body was found in the desert two days later on the east side of Trico Road, about a half-mile south of Avra Valley Road.


Abrian Gonzalez, the father of Maribel Victoria Gonzalez (in photograph behind Gonzalez), talks about his daughter while at Homicide Survivors in Tucson in June, 2014. She was reported missing June 3 and listed as a runaway on June 4. Maribel Gonzalez, 13, was found dead in early June in Avra Valley near Trico and Avra Valley Roads. Originally, the authorities listed the person found as an adult. Authorities are suspicious of the circumstances of her death and are awaiting autopsy results. It is the second tragedy for this family. On New Year’s Day her mother suffered extensive injuries after being run over along with her boyfriend on the south side.

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