Couple charged with murdering adopted daughter expected in court as Waimanalo memorial for Ariel grows

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Investigators continue to search for evidence to help them find the body of Isabella Kalua — also known as Ariel Sellers — more than 36 hours after police raided the home of Isaac and Lehua Kalua. The pair are Ariel’s adoptive parents; they were arrested Wednesday, Nov. 10, and charged with murder in connection to Ariel’s disappearance.

It has been almost two full days since law enforcement raided the Kalua home on Puha Street in Waimanalo. Honolulu police and the FBI continue to search the residence for clues.

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Meanwhile, the fence line fronting the home has turned into a makeshift memorial for Ariel as people who knew her and perfect strangers continuously stop by with flowers and stuffed animals, paying their respects to the little girl gone too soon.

Malia Taitin drove to Waimanalo from Makaha with her three kids. She said she has been following the story on the news. It touched her because one of her kids is Ariel’s age.

“We’re hoping that they can recover her body soon so that the family and the community can get closure. Such a sad story. Sad that it had to end like this, but I’m glad she’s not in pain anymore. I just hope that justice is served for Ariel, and I hope she rests in peace.”

Malia Taitin, makaha resident

For many, being at the Kalua home is the only way to show Ariel they have not forgotten her. Robbie Akana, a friend of Ariel’s biological family, has been searching for her since day one.

Akana said she does not know how the Kalua’s can live with what they have done.

“We come here. We rally. We call her name. We go look for her, and they just sat in that house and watched us, knowing they know what happened to her,” Akana said as tears welled in her eyes. “That pisses me off!”

Isaac and Lehua are both charged with second-degree murder and are being held without bail.

On Sunday, Sept. 12, Ariel was reported as missing from her Waimanalo home that she lived at with the Kaluas.

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Kalua family friend and attorney William Harrison, who had provided legal counsel to them when they first reported Ariel missing, said he planned to meet with them Thursday afternoon. It is unclear if Harrison will be representing them, but they will need separate representation.

Both Isaac and Lehua Kalua are expected to have their initial court appearance Friday, Nov. 12.

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