BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. — Bullhead City police on Wednesday announced that a body had been found near the residence where 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella went missing early Tuesday morning.
A tracking unit discovered the body about noon in the area of Chaparral and Newberry drives. The location is about a mile from the residence in the 2400 block of Lakeside Drive where the girl was discovered missing, Bullhead City Police Chief Brian Williamson said.
The body has not yet been identified, Williamson said.
Bullhead City spokeswoman Emily Fromelt said that law enforcement agencies are working on multiple leads and are seeking persons of interest.
Isabella was put to bed late Monday night and was discovered to be missing about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Ethan Lyon, who is close the family, sat on a curb near the area where the body was found Wednesday. He smoked a cigarette and drank from a plastic cup, his hands shaking so badly that water sloshed onto his turquoise Vans shoes.
“It’s Isabella. It has to be,” he said of the body that was found.
The distraught man had been questioned by police, with Isabella’s family. The mother’s boyfriend had apparently gone to the store the night she disappeared, according to sources. That left the girl with a grandmother and a family friend, Lyon said.
“I don’t see how you could look into her eyes, look at her smile and hurt her,” Lyon said.
The residents of the home include Isabella’s mother and other children who are not Isabella’s siblings, police Lt. Jerry Duke said. He added that Isabella’s biological father is not in the area.
“She doesn’t deserve that,” Lyon said of the missing girl. “She could’ve changed the world. Now she won’t get the chance.”
More than 100 officers and investigators, including those from three northern Arizona counties, were searching for the girl in the community about 100 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Canines and a helicopter were being used in the search.
Fromelt said that the FBI is assisting in the investigation and that Isabella’s disappearance is considered a criminal matter because she vanished without a trace.
Isabella was last seen wearing a green, ruffled, sparkly tank top and dark shorts, and may have been barefoot. She is 4 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 85 pounds.
Her mother told authorities it would be unusual for Isabella to run away or leave without telling an adult, Fromelt said.
Fromelt said there were no signs of intrusion into the home or that any struggle had occurred on the property.
Williamson said during the news conference that an abduction had not yet been ruled out.
Review-Journal writer Dave Hawkins and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Ricardo Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @rickytwrites. Contact Annalise Little at email@example.com or 702-383-0391. Find her on Twitter: @annalisemlittle.