Adoptive parents of missing girl Isabella Kalua accused of murder

Adoptive parents of missing girl Isabella Kalua accused of murder

The adoptive parents of a missing 6-year-old Hawaii girl have been arrested on suspicion of murder – months after reporting that she vanished from their home, police said.

Isaac and Lehua Kalua were arrested Wednesday during a police and FBI raid in the disappearance of Isabella Kalua, whom they adopted in January and reported missing in mid-September – a month after Honolulu police say they killed the girl, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Cops have yet to recover Isabella’s body, but were searching the couple’s home in the Waimanalo section of Honolulu Wednesday, the newspaper reported.

Lehua Halua, 43, was taken into custody on suspicion of second-degree murder at her home, while Isaac Kalua, 52, was arrested on the same charge at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, where he works. The couple reported the girl – born Ariel Sellers – missing on Sept. 13, saying they last saw her in her bedroom the night before.

Lehua Kalua
Lehua Kalua was arrested for second-degree murder at home.
Honolulu Police Department

The initial statement they gave to cops that she left the house in the middle of the night is false, based on a review of multiple surveillance videos nearby, Honolulu police Homicide Lt. Deena Thoemmes said.

Investigators had earlier not ruled out foul play in the case, although it was only reclassified as a murder probe late last week, police said.

“Unfortunately, what began as a search for a missing girl turned into a murder investigation focused on the Kaluas,” Honolulu interim police chief Rade Vanic told reporters. “We believe the evidence leads to the Kaluas and no one else.”

The couple have not confessed, but a major development in the investigation occurred last week, the Star-Advertiser reported. Authorities on Wednesday refused to discuss how they believe Isabella died, according to Hawaii News Now.

Isaac "Sonny" Kalua
Isaac “Sonny” Kalua was taken into custody while at work.
Honolulu Police Department

Investigators also declined to indicate what led them to name the Kaluas as suspects. They remain jailed without bail. An attorney who has represented them declined to respond to a request for comment Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Ariel’s 7th birthday was Saturday. A state Department of Education spokesperson has said she attended kindergarten at Waimanalo Elementary last year via distance learning. The Kaluas then filed paperwork to home-school her starting in June, the spokesperson said.

Anyone who may have seen the girl or had interactions with her sisters between 2019 and August should call CrimeStoppers at (808) 955-8300.

With Post wires

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