Saturday, April 21, 2012, Sergio Celis Calls Emergency 911
“Hello, I want to report a missing person“ said Sergio.Celis to the 911 dispatcher.
First impressions. Quick, don’t overthink. Was this a call for a friend, acquaintance in need, a work colleague?
Is this how YOU would report your “missing” six-year old daughter?
In this excellent updated commentary provided by Peter Hyatt on his website, the 911 call is analyzed according to the principles of Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN). This is a good introductory exercise for any readers unfamiliar with the techniques used by the FBI, law enforcement, specially trained military interrogators. [Refer to former military interrogator Lena Sisco’s guest blog.] The beauty of the science is that any interested, motivated individuals can learn the techniques. Caution: it’s harder than it looks but fascinating!
Mr. Celis’ telephone call should shock listeners. Immediately, we’re alerted to deception. Put yourself in the position of Sergio Celis. It’s a Saturday morning. His wife had left for work. Their little girl — and only daughter — is found to be missing from her bedroom and is nowhere in the house. As Peter explains,
the father of a kidnapped child is not likely to start his call with “hello.“ Note: this is not expected by anyone in a hurry to get emergency information to an operator.
The father of a kidnapped child is not likely to refer to her as a “person.” Please note that a “person” is gender neutral
“I believe she was abducted…”
Sergio Celis: “I want to report a missing person, my little girl who’s six years old, I believe she was abducted from my house.”
Even though statement analysis studies words, not inflection or tone of voice, the calm, measured style is notable. He doesn’t need to be screaming or loudly weeping, but how much colder can he get? We don’t need any special training to detect an immediate problem. Detachment. Guilty knowledge. Deception.
His wife, Rebecca (Becky), was called at work prior to the 911 to inquire about Isabel and then told to “get her butt home” [chuckles at his own joke — and in a later interview gets defensive about public criticism.] Continue reading