Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Isabel Celis: 911 Call - Statement Analysis.

The following is Part One of  Statement Analysis of the 911 call made by Sergie Celis to report his daughter, Isabel Celis, 6, missing.  Statement Analysis is in bold type. 

What to look for in 911 calls?  Follow the principles of Statement Analysis, noting the research done into domestic homicide 911 calls done by Dr. Susan Adams.  

Operator:  911 What is your emergency?

Celis:  Hello.  I need to report a missing child  I believe she was abducted from my house. 

1.  Please note that the 911 calls of domestic homicides research shows that guilty callers often begin with a greeting.  The study (by Dr. Adams) showed that in guilty callers contacting 911, the call did not begin with an urgent cry for help, but a greeting instead.  Here, Sergio Celis begins with a greeting, which is casual, and, given the age of the child, and circumstances of the call, is highly unusual.  Parents of missing children are in a panic and immediately demand help. 

Note also that Dr. Adams found that guilty callers sometimes did not ask for help specifically for the victim, but sometimes for their own selves. 

2.  Note that he reports her as a "child" here,  without using her name.  Note that she is "a" child, not his.  The lack of emphasis likely was felt by the operator. Please note that "child" is associated with child abuse and risk.  "a" missing child is any missing child, not his.  This is unusual. 

3.  Note he asserts belief that she was abducted.  This is an usual term, instead of kidnapped or taken.  He does not say why he chose this word (or topic) rather than just that she is missing, or wandered off.  "Abducted" sounds more like something from a television show rather than the cry of a desperate father unwilling to admit to an "abduction."  

This is critical because he is asserting "abduction" from the beginning, yet he and his wife refused, for 5 days, to address the abductors, or address their child.  An "abduction" is a crime that is planned out and for a purpose.  

4.  We note that he did not use her name which may indicate distancing language by him, from Isabel.  

911 Operator:  What makes you think she was abducted?

Sergie Celis:  "I have no idea.  We woke up this morning and went to go get her up, start her baseball game and she's gone. I woke up my my sons, I, we, looked everywhere in the house and my oldest son noticed that her window was wide open and the screen was laying in the back yard.  We've looked all around the house.  My son...

Deception detected. 

The change of pronouns show that he is not working from experiential memory.  Pronouns are instinctive and humans do not make mistakes between "I" and "we"; having spoken pronouns millions of times. 

Even to the untrained, the casual sound of his voice, coupled with the greeting, will show that this is not a kidnapping. 

Sergie Celis is later heard lightly chucking on the call while his daughter is missing. 

Other things to look for:

On the 911 call, does the caller ask specifically for help for the victim?
Does the caller disparage or blame the victim?
Does the caller use the words "I'm sorry" anywhere in the call?

The tone of voice is something TV commentators will jump on, but it is the language is the most important thing.  He may sound like he is ordering lunch from a drive in, but it is the words he used which show deception.  He may attempted to sound 'confident' in the wake of the nervousness of lying, but people can, and do fake hysteria.  

"We will never give up; we will never give up looking for you." Sergie Celis. 

This shows no expectation of success; the very opposite of natural denial found within parents.