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Missing Waimanalo girl’s items may have been found

  • LEILA FUJIMORI / LFUJIMORI@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Law enforcement agencies were at Bellows this evening.

    LEILA FUJIMORI / LFUJIMORI@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Law enforcement agencies were at Bellows this evening.

  • COURTESY HONOLULU POLICE DEPARTMENT
                                A map shows areas searched by HPD and assisting law enforcement agencies.

    COURTESY HONOLULU POLICE DEPARTMENT

    A map shows areas searched by HPD and assisting law enforcement agencies.

Police made a discovery Thursday inside Bellows Air Force Base in connection with the search for the missing 6-year-old Waimanalo girl, Isabella Kalua, known to her biological family as Ariel.

The Honolulu Police Department set up a roadblock Thursday afternoon, but officers on scene would not confirm news reports that a backpack or bag with toys and slippers was found possibly belonging to Isabella.

HPD Homicide Lt. Deena Thoemmes, who oversees the Missing Persons Section, said in a written statement earlier in the afternoon: “At this time, foul play has not been ruled out.”

However, the case remains a missing persons case.

When asked about the backpack or bag, Melanie Joseph, Isabella’s biological mother, who was at the police command post Thursday night at Waimanalo District Park, said she could not say anything.

The HPD Criminal Investigation Division has conducted numerous interviews into the case since Monday when Isabella was reported missing by her adoptive parents, who say she was last seen sleeping 9 p.m. Sunday at home in her bedroom.

Despite the numerous interviews by HPD detectives, “there are still individuals, to include acquaintances and family members, who have yet to come forward to be interviewed,” Thoemmes said.

She said she hopes this will change in the near future.

Isabella, who was a foster child in the home of Sonny and Lehua Kalua, was reportedly adopted by them within the last year, and changed her name from her birth name, Ariel Sellers, her biological family said.

The Department of Education said the child attended kindergarten last school year at Waimanalo Elementary School via distance learning.

“In June, her adoptive parents filed paperwork with the school to withdraw the child to home-school,” DOE said.

HPD and other agencies along with hundreds of community members from across the island continue to search for Isabella.

“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,” Thoemmes said.

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