Maui News

Search Fans Out for a Missing 6-Year-Old O‘ahu Girl; Foul Play Not Ruled Out

By Wendy Osher
September 16, 2021, 3:12 PM HST
* Updated September 18, 7:03 AM
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The search for a missing six-year-old Oʻahu girl is fanning out with flyers now going up on Maui in the hopes that more eyes on the situation will shed light on where she is. The girl was reported missing from the home of her adopted parents over the weekend.

Isabella Kalua, also known as Ariel Sellers, was last seen asleep in her room at her Puha Street address in Waimanalo on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, at approximately 9 p.m. Honolulu Police had initiated the search saying, “her family and friends are concerned for her safety and well-being,” but no Amber Alert was issued, as the case reportedly did not meet criteria for the program.

Jamie Kumai, her biological aunty who lives on Maui just returned to the Valley Isle after four days of searching on Oʻahu. “Ariel, we love you. Come out wherever you are. We want to bring you home and just hope and pray you’re safe. We’re not going to stop looking for you,” Kumai said in a phone call with Maui Now this afternoon. Kumai is first cousins with the girl’s biological mother.

Isabella Kalua, also known as Ariel Sellers. PC: Honolulu Police Department.

Kumai described the girl as a “happy baby” with a bubbly personality. “In the beginning she’s shy, but once she gets to know you, she just wants to play. She’s so lovable. She just wants to be loved,” said Kumai.

According to Kumai, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources as well as the Coast Guard joined in the search to cover waters as well as the Bellows Military area. “Volunteers are still covering bases in Waimanalo, but the search is starting to go out into other areas. Some people are already in other areas looking… We still don’t have tips or leads on her whereabouts,” said Kumai.

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On Monday, Crime Stoppers and HPD called on help from the public to assist in locating the girl, but few new details surrounding her disappearance have surfaced in the media. Maui police have said there is NO indication the missing child is here on Maui, but said they also shared the information in the hopes of getting the word out.

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“It’s up in the air how we’re feeling. I know they have protocols. We’re letting them do their part,” said Kumai who noted that since volunteers have set up a base in Waimanalo, authorities have been there as well with an officer doing a huddle prior to searches daily.

Lieutenant Deena Thoemmes of the HPD Criminal Investigation Division said, “Since Monday, the HPD has been working tirelessly with the community to locate Isabella.  We have conducted numerous interviews; however, there are still individuals, to include acquaintances and family members, who have yet to come forward to be interviewed.  We hope that this will change in the near future as the investigation and search for Isabella continues.  At this time foul play has not been ruled out.”

Lt. Thoemmes said, “The HPD is grateful to the community and city, state, federal and military agencies for their assistance and continued support in the search for Isabella.”

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“In the beginning there were boundaries that we couldn’t search at,” said Kumai. “We still don’t have tips or leads on her whereabouts… It is getting harder. I know I’m going to break soon, but I’m still holding on to hope and praying and still trying to be positive,” said Kumai.

Isabella/Ariel is described as 3 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 46 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. Police say her clothing includes: a black hoodie, black leggings, colorful socks, and Nike Slides with pink bottoms.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 808-955-8300 or via their anonymous web tips at http://honolulucrimestoppers.org or the Honolulu Police Departments “P3 Tips” App.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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