Sun. May 26th, 2024

Arizona Sex Offender Serving Time for Kidnapping and Killing 13-Year-Old Gets Hit with Murder Charge for 6-Year-Old’s Death

Alex Thompson By Alex Thompson May15,2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (TCD) — A 42-year-old convicted sex offender already serving life in prison for kidnapping and killing a 13-year-old girl has been sentenced to another life term in prison for the death of a 6-year-old child who vanished in 2012.

The Pima County Attorney’s Office announced April 10 that a judge sentenced Christopher Clements to serve natural life in prison without parole for the murder of 6-year-old Isabel Celis, as well as 17 years for kidnapping and three years for burglary. He previously received a life sentence for the death of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez, who disappeared in 2014.

According to a statement from the Tucson Police Department, on April 21, 2012, at 8:13 a.m., officials launched a missing person investigation after Celis went missing from her home in the 5600 block of East 12th Street. Investigators did not find Celis at the time, and the case remained open for the next several years with help from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Police said they received “several thousand tips and leads over the course of the investigation.”

More than two years later, on June 3, 2014, Gonzales left her home near Broadway Boulevard and Wilmot Road but never returned. Officials recovered her remains in a desert near North Trico and West Avra Valley roads three days later. Investigators with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department ruled Gonzalez’s death a homicide.

In 2017, authorities identified Clements as a primary suspect in the disappearance of the first victim, Celis. According to The Associated Press, Clements told FBI agents he would lead them to Celis’ remains if they dropped unrelated burglary charges. He also reportedly stated he wasn’t involved in her death.

Investigators recovered Celis’ remains in the same area where officials located Gonzalez’s body, and they ruled her death a homicide.

A jury initially indicted Clements on Sept. 14, 2018, on multiple charges, including murder, in the deaths of the two young girls.

Before his sentencing, Clements reportedly maintained his innocence and said he felt he wasn’t given a fair trial.

According to The Associated Press, Celis’ father told the court, “Until the day I die, I will feel responsible for not doing my job and protecting my little girl from the evil that lurked outside her window.”

After sentencing, Pima County Attorney Laura Conover said, “We do not take lightly a request for a sentence of natural life, because in effect we are asking for a sentence of death at the conclusion of incarceration. But there are times when we do ask for just such a sentence, as we did today. And in achieving that goal, this individual can bring no further harm to our community.”

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Alex Thompson

By Alex Thompson

Alex is an award-winning journalist with a passion for investigative reporting. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Alex has covered a wide range of topics from politics to entertainment. Known for in-depth research and compelling storytelling, Alex's work has been featured in major news outlets around the world.

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2 thoughts on “Arizona Sex Offender Serving Time for Kidnapping and Killing 13-Year-Old Gets Hit with Murder Charge for 6-Year-Old’s Death”
  1. It’s so devastating to hear about these cases. As a mother, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain these families must be going through. Justice must be served for these innocent children.

  2. It’s utterly devastating to see such gruesome crimes committed against innocent children. Justice has been served with the additional life term for the murder of the 6-year-old victim, but it’s a stark reminder of the horrors that exist in the world.

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