Cops in Hawaii have refused to confirm they have found a bag of shoes and toys on a riverbed while hunting for a missing six year-old girl.
Isabella Kalua went missing on September 12 and her adopted parents – who fostered and adopted her within the past year – told police they last saw her 9pm Sunday sleeping in her bedroom.
Her adopted parents changed her name from her birth name, Ariel Sellers. They have received anonymous death threats via phone and email, and have been banned from joining in the search for Isabella over fears they’ll be attacked.
The Honolulu Police Department blocked off the road to the Bellows Air Force Base Thursday after making a discovery but officers would not confirm if Isabella’s backpack or bag of toys and slippers was found, as reported by the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
They confirmed that a bag of items had been recovered, but did not say what, and added that it was too early to link them to the missing child.
Isabella Kalua (pictured) went missing on September 12 and her adopted parents – who fostered and adopted her within the past year – told police they last saw her 9pm Sunday sleeping in her bedroom
The Honolulu Police Department blocked off the road to the Air Force Base Thursday after making a discovery but officers would not confirm if Isabella’s backpack or bag of toys and slippers was found
HPD Homicide L Deena Thoemmes, who oversees the Missing Persons Section, said in a written statement that ‘foul play has not been ruled out’ and the case is still a missing persons case
HPD Homicide L Deena Thoemmes, who oversees the Missing Persons Section, said in a written statement that ‘foul play has not been ruled out’ and the case is still a missing persons case.
Thoemmes added: ‘There are still individuals, to include acquaintances and family members, who have yet to come forward to be interviewed.’
Isabella’s biological mother Melanie Joseph told the Star Advertiser that she couldn’t comment on the backpack or bag.
On Thursday hundreds of volunteers combed a region of the Hawaiian island of Oahu in search of the missing six-year-old girl as it was revealed her adoptive parents Sonny and Lehua pulled her out of school for a week.
Sonny and Lehua reportedly filed paperwork citing homeschooling as the reason for their daughter’s withdrawal, a Department of Education representative told Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Further information on when Isabella was withdrawn have not been shared.
Private investigator Steve Lane said the lack of oversight over homeschooled children is problematic.
Isabella’s adoptive parents reported her missing on Monday and said that they last saw her when they put her to bed on Sunday night at their Waimanalo home (pictured)
Private security camera footage showed a blurry image of a child and two adults walking down the street, as depicted by the fuzzy white space above the box
‘There’s not requirement to check if the parents are qualified. That’s why kids die,’ he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
He cited a different case of another homeschooled Hawaiian girl who was starved to death by her parents and grandmother.
Homeschooled children have lower chances of someone recognizing evidence of abuse or neglect, according to Lane, which is even more important in Isabella’s case considering her adopted father has been convicted of two second-degree assaults, an attempted second-degree assault and a first-degree terroristic threatening, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Yet Sonny has been approved to foster four of Joseph’s daughters after she lost her children due to drug abuse.
‘How did those kids ever get that house?’ Lane said to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ‘You can’t put kids in that kind of household.’
Video footage of a small child walking outside at 12.45pm and being followed by two adults may show Isabella’s abduction.
The clip showed cars continuously going around the neighborhood where she lives in Kailua.
As of Wednesday, Honolulu Interim Police Chief Rade Vanic said that the department ‘[doesn’t] have sufficient evidence’ to show that Isabella ‘Ariel’ Kalua has been abducted, according to Hawaii News Now.
‘We’re hoping she’s not in immediate danger,’ he told the outlet.
Isabella stands at 3-foot-3, weighs 46 pounds and was wearing a black hoodie, leggings, colorful socks and Nike slides with pink bottoms when she was last seen
Despite hundreds of volunteers searching the community, tying purple ribbons around trees to indicate that those areas have already been covered, the child still has not been found after three days