Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Lawyer Says Missing Waimānalo Girl's Family Cooperating With Police

Isabella Kalua Missing Girl Waimanalo.png
Honolulu Police Department
Six-year-old Isabella Kalua of Waimānalo was last seen on Sept. 12, 2021.

Adoptive family members of a missing Waimānalo girl have been fully cooperative with police and consented to a full-day search of their home, an attorney for them said in a statement.

Isabella Kalua was last seen asleep Sunday night in her home in Waimānalo, Honolulu police said.

Volunteers from across the island, along with city, state, federal and military agencies, have been searching for the girl. On Thursday, a garbage bag containing items was found in a canal.

“It is too premature to say whether the items are related to this investigation,” Lt. Deena Thoemmes of the Criminal Investigation Division, said Friday. She didn't disclose what items were in the bag.

Sonny Kalua said he and Lehua Kalua adopted the girl in January. He said detectives have instructed the family not to speak with reporters.

The statement from attorney William Harrison said he and police instructed them not to communicate about the case because the family has received blocked telephone messages and anonymous social media death threats.

That's also why they have been instructed to stay home and not participate in the search, “so as not to detract from the efforts and for safety concerns," Harrison said. “In their place other family members have been out assisting in the search and bringing food and water, paid for by the Kalua family, to help in the effort.”

The Kalua family allowed police to retrieve electronic data from home cameras and door equipment, Harrison said.

Thoemmes said police haven't been able to contact some friends and family members.

There are too many unanswered questions to rule out foul play, she said.

Harrison noted that Isabella has been home-schooled for two years. A state Department of Education spokeswoman said Isabella attended kindergarten at Waimānalo Elementary last school year via distance learning. In June, the adoptive parents filed paperwork to withdraw her to home-school her, said Nanea Kalani, a spokeswoman for the department.

The Kaluas are “extremely grieved by the situation and have not given up hope for finding Isabella,” Harrison said.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. Founded in 1846, AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
More from Hawai‘i Public Radio