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Crime News Family Crimes

Adoptive Parents Of 6-Year-Old Hawaii Girl Reported Missing Have Been Arrested For Her Murder

Six-year-old Isabella "Ariel" Kalua was reported missing by her adoptive parents in September, but police say she was already dead. They were arrested for her murder Wednesday.

By Constance Johnson

Nearly two months after a 6-year-old girl was reported missing in Hawaii, her adoptive parents have been arrested for her murder.

Isabella “Ariel” Kalua was reported missing by her parents on Sept. 13. Isaac, 52, and Lehua Kalua,43, told police that they last saw her on Sept. 12 at their home in Waimanalo around 9 p.m. when they put her to bed, police said.

“What was initially reported was that she had left her home in the middle of the night and when they woke up, they didn’t see her, and they thought she had walked away. The very first statement on September 13was false,” Lt. Deena Thoemmes with the Honolulu Police Department said Wednesday during a news conference announcing the arrest.

Hundreds of police and volunteers searched for Isabella.

While Isabella was reporting missing in September, police believe she was murdered sometime in August. Police stressed that this is still an active investigation. They are still searching for Isabella’s body.

Isabella Kalua Pd

“We believe that Ariel was killed by her adoptive parents in August of 2021, and then approximately four weeks later is when we received the missing person report, in September,” Major Ben Moszkowicz with the Honolulu Police Department said Wednesday during the news conference.

Police did not reveal what evidence or information led to the couple’s arrest. They are being held without bail and have a court appearance scheduled for Friday, according to local news station KITV.

“Some of the information may not be released at this time because it may hurt the integrity of the investigation," Thoemmes said.

Her photo and story touched the hearts of many in the community,” HPD interim Chief Rade Vanic said Wednesday. “Unfortunately, what began as a search for a missing girl turned into a murder investigation focused on the Kaluas. We believe the evidence leads to the Kaluas and no one else.”

Witnesses said police dressed in riot gear raided the home before arresting Lehua Kalua. FBI agents were seen carrying beds, stuffed boxes, and a vacuum cleaner away from the home, according to local outlet KRON.

Isabella’s biological relatives have been anxiously waiting for answers and praying for her return since she was reported missing.

“It’s been a very emotional overwhelming morning,” Isabella’s Aunt Alena Kaeo told the station. “This is like a bomb in our head and our faces. We didn’t have answers and then, boom, all of a sudden they’re arrested, and they have the house being raided.”

Hawaii News Now reported in September that Isabella had sustained two serious injuries that were investigated by Child Welfare Services.

She had a broken finger in October of 2019. The family said she had slammed her finger in a door, according to the station.

Four months later, in January of 2020, Isabella broke her leg and was treated at the emergency room. The family reportedly said it happened while she was playing on a trampoline.

No mistreatment was found in either incident, the station reported.

Isabella’s four siblings are now in the custody of Child Welfare Services. The agency is asking anyone who may have witnessed abuse or neglect in the home to come forward, according to KITV.

Isabella would have turned 7 years old last week.

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