A Hawaiian couple have been charged with murdering their six-year-old adopted daughter a month in August, a month before they reported her missing, claiming she ‘wandered off’ in the middle of the night.
Lehua Kalua, 45, and her husband 52-year-old Isaac Sonny Kalua have been charged with killing their daughter Isabella ‘Ariel’ Kalua, who they reported missing on September 13.
Honolulu Police Department say the couple killed her a month earlier, sometime in mid-August, then pretended she had vanished.
Her body has not been found but police and the FBI are searching the family’s home and Pearl Harbor Shipyard, where the father works. The Navy, which operates the shipyard, has not yet commented.
Ariel was adopted by the couple just two years ago out of foster care. She was removed from her biological family when she was one.
In the two years since she has lived with the couple, she has suffered two serious injuries but in both cases, the Department of Child Services ruled no foul play had taken place, Hawaii News Now reports.
In October 2019, she suffered a broken finger which the couple claimed came from her slamming her hand in a door. Four months later, she returned to the hospital with a broken leg, which her parents said was from a trampoline injury.
The parents of Isabella ‘Ariel’ Kalua have been charged with her murder. The girl was reported missing on September 13 but police say she’d been dead for a month. The cause of death is unclear and her body has not been found
Lehua Kalua and her husband Isaac Sonny Kalua have been charged with killing their daughter Isabella ‘Ariel’ Kalua, who they reported missing on September 13
The Kaluas told police on September 13 that she had left their home in the middle of the night and that she often slept outside.
Police say that was a lie and that the girl had been dead for a month, but they have not revealed what evidence they have that points to that conclusion.
It’s unclear how Ariel died or what kind of evidence police have against the pair, but detectives say they are confident the evidence points ‘to them and no one else’.
The couple have other daughters who are now in the custody of the authorities. It’s unclear if those children are also adopted, or if they are the couple’s biological kids.
Lehua Kalua was arrested at her home on Honolulu on Wednesday morning. Her husband was arrested at work
Dozens of police raided the family’s home in Honolulu yesterday to arrest the girl’s mother
The girl’s biological aunts still live on the island and have been organizing community searches for her
‘At the onset there was a lot of questions Some things just weren’t adding up for us in the last week to ten days some evidence has come to light,’ said Honolulu Police Department Interim Chief Rade Vanic at a press conference on Tuesday.
The girl’s biological aunts had been campaigning on Facebook and in the community for police to do more to question the adoptive parents sooner.
They said they were convinced all along that the couple had something to do with her disappearance.
The adoptive parents are being held in custody without bond.
Child Welfare Services has not commented yet on their arrests.
These are recent photos of Ariel, taken after she went to live with her adoptive parents two years ago
Some in the community say the girl was happier when she was in foster care. She is shown in photos taken before she went to live with the Kalua family