Eastside neighborhood on high alert as deputies search for accused child molester

CREATED Apr 30, 2012

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Reporter: Valerie Cavazos

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Pima County deputies are hunting for a man believed to be preying on young children. Right now, investigators do not believe this guy has anything to do with isabel Celis's disappearance. But at this point -- nothing is being ruled out.

At about two this morning, deputies were called to a home on East Mountain Gate Place near the Catalina Highway and Snyder Road. Deputies say an intruder made his way into a bedroom and sexually assaulted at least one of three girls -- ages 6, 8 and 10. They say after interviewing three girls in a forensic manner -- their stories are consistent and credible. So dozens of deputies swarmed the area -- interviewing neighbors on the street -- and canvassing the area up to a 10 miles radius.

"We are looking for those that are registered sex offenders in and around this part of the county. I can tell you than detectives are pursuing some interesting information that has come into us," said deputy Richard Kastigar.

The neighborhood backs into a large wide open desert -- a focus of the search during the daylight hours. "There are individuals who camp in various places in and around here. We're checking everything," said Kasigar.

As night fell -- detectives suspended the search and still remain tight-lipped on the details of the case, including how the man even got into the home. We spoke with the next door neighbors -- who's home mirrors their  layout. They tell us that it's very difficult to open a window --unless it's broken into, but that's not the case if the window is left open because the screens are easy to remove.

Deputy Kastigar said he doesn't want to alarm the neighborhood, but he does want everyone to be on alert -- and if they see anything suspicious, they should call 9-1-1.  Based on today's investigation, he said he doesn't believe the suspect will return to the neighborhood.