Tucson Police announced today that 36-year-old Christopher Matthew Clements has been indicted for the murders of 6-year-old Isabel Mercedes Celis, and 13-year-old Maribel Gonzales.
On April 21, 2012, at 8:13 a.m., 6-year-old Isabel Mercedes Celis was reported missing from her home in the 5600 block of East 12th Street. Officers and detectives from the Tucson Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Division responded that morning and remained at the scene for multiple days investigating her disappearance.
Although she was not located, the case remained open and the investigation continued over the next several years with the assistance of federal, state and local law enforcement partners. The Tucson Police Department received several thousand tips and leads over the course of the investigation.
On June 3, 2014, 13-year-old Maribel Gonzales left her residence near Broadway Blvd. and Wilmot Rd. and never returned home. Three days later, her body was recovered in a desert area near North Trico Road and West Avra Valley Road. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department investigated that incident and the manner of death was determined to be a homicide. Maribel’s case remained open while investigators tried to determine who was responsible for her murder.
In early 2017, local FBI agents were contacted about Clements. They were advised that Clements possibly had information relating to the disappearance of Isabel Celis. The FBI immediately contacted the Tucson Police Department and assisted with the follow-up of that information.
On March 3, 2017, after speaking with Clements, Tucson Police Investigators and FBI Agents located human remains in the area of North Trico Road and West Avra Valley Road, which is the same general area where Maribel Gonzales was located in 2014. The Tucson Police Homicide Unit was then assigned to recover the remains and to continue the investigation. Those remains were tested and positively identified as Isabel Celis. The manner of death was determined to be a homicide.
The Tucson Police Homicide Unit reviewed the original investigative casework and conducted interviews throughout the state of Arizona and across the country. After learning Isabel and Maribel were located in close proximity to one another, the Tucson Police Homicide Unit and Pima County Sheriff’s Homicide Unit began working together on the two cases.
Detectives were able to obtain additional information about both homicides and recover additional pieces of evidence during the joint investigation. The new evidence and information, in conjunction with the details and evidence from the initial investigations, was presented to the Pima County Attorney’s Office and then to a Pima County Grand Jury.
On Friday, September 14, 2018, Clements was indicted on multiple felony charges to include the murders of Celis and Gonzales. Clements was served the indictment at the Maricopa County Jail, where he is being held in connection with unrelated matters.