Missing Oahu girl’s parents withdrew her from school

  • This undated photo provided by the Honolulu Police Department shows Isabella Kalua who was last seen sleeping in her room in Waimanalo, near the eastern end of the island of Oahu, at about 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, Honolulu police said. The search resumed Wednesday, Sept. 15, for the missing 6-year-old girl. Authorities are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Isabella. (Courtesy of Honolulu Police Department via AP)

HONOLULU — The adoptive parents of a missing 6-year-old Oahu girl pulled her out of school to home-school her, the state Department of Education said.

Isabella Kalua attended kindergarten at Waimanalo Elementary last school year via distance learning, said Nanea Kalani, a spokeswoman for the education department. In June, her adoptive parents filed paperwork with the school to withdraw the child to home-school her, Kalani said.

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The search for Kalua entered the fourth day Thursday. She was last seen sleeping at home in Waimanalo, on the east side of Oahu, Sunday night, Honolulu police said.

Sonny Kalua told The Associated Press Thursday that he and Lehua Kalua adopted the girl in January. “We’re instructed by the detectives from day one that we’re not supposed to talk to reporters,” he said.

Interim Chief Rade Vanic told the Honolulu Police Commission Wednesday there’s not sufficient evidence to show she was abducted.

Police have interviewed numerous people, but there are acquaintances and family members “who have yet to come forward to be interviewed,” Lt. Deena Thoemmes, of the Criminal Investigation Division, said in a statement Thursday.

“We hope that this will change in the near future as the investigation and search for Isabella continues,” she said. “At this time, foul play has not been ruled out.”

Police described the brown-eyed, brown-haired girl as white and mixed race. Police believe she would have been wearing a black hoodie, black leggings, colorful socks and Nike slides with pink bottoms.

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Volunteers from across the island, along with city, state, federal and military agencies, have been helping with the search.

Associated Press Researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.

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