Police presence scaled-back as search for Waimanalo girl stretches into day 6

Local News

HONOLULU(KHON2) — What happened to Isabella Kalua? The six-year-old disappeared from her Waimanalo home Sunday, Sept. 12, and despite massive community and police efforts, her whereabouts are still unknown.

Although police have scaled back their search efforts, some family, friends and complete strangers continued to search for her on Saturday, Sept. 18.

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Even though extensive police presence is gone and search parties have gotten smaller, many refused to give up hope. Wahiawa resident Joseph Bezek joined the search Saturday after he heard about the case.

“My heart breaks for the family, and I can’t imagine what they’re going through. I just wanted to help as much as I can. For me, I wasn’t able to just sit back and do nothing.”

Joseph Bezek, Wahiawa resident who joined the search after he heard about the case

“We’re finding out that not everyone watches the news,” said a volunteer coordinator who asked not to be identified. “And not everyone has the same social media platforms. So not everyone is getting the information.”

Their goal is to get posters up island-wide.

“We’re going to be going door to door as well, knocking on doors getting the flyers out,” the volunteer coordinator explained.

Search efforts branched out into the surrounding areas but were heavily focused on the Waimanalo area.

Lt. Deena Thoemmes, of HPD’s Criminal Investigations Division, confirmed a photo album found at the Waimanalo Refuse Center was turned in on Monday, Sept. 13, and a garbage bag containing evidence was found Thursday, Sept. 16. Thoemmes said it could take up to a week to confirm if the items found are related to the case.

Police questioned Isabella’s adoptive family, as well as searched their home and electronic devices.
However, Darla Ryder-Ferreira, a friend of the Kalua family, said they would never hurt her.

“That’s not the kind of people they are,” Ryder-Ferreira said. “They are good people. They’re church-people.”

She said Isabella and her two siblings — also adopted by the Kalua family — looked well taken care of.

“They seem happy, like they’re happy with their living situation. They seem spoiled to me, actually.”

William Harrison — a family friend and legal adviser to the Kaluas — said they did nothing wrong.

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“Every one of the children I’ve run into at the house, both the extended family or the foster kids who were ultimately adopted, all seemed to be loved, cared for and there was no concerns at all.”

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