Still Missing HI - Ariel Sellers AKA 'Isabella Kalua', 6, last seen asleep in bdrm, Waimanalo, 12 Sep 2021*Arrests

Knox

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The graphic new details were included in a complaint made public Friday, the same day Isaac and Lehua Kalua made their first appearance in court for the missing girl’s murder.

The two appeared via a livestream from Oahu Community Correctional Center, and allowed their attorney to submit not guilty pleas of their behalf. They didn’t say a word as the state argued that they continue to be held without bail because the crimes they’re charged with carry an extended sentence of life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Tiffany Kaeo also argued that the Kaluas could be a flight risk.

“Isaac Kalua has ties to the continental United States. He does have prior convictions for assaultive behavior,” said Kaeo.

The judge agreed, which means the two will remain in jail at least until their next scheduled court appearance Nov. 26.

Court documents reveal horrific allegations against adoptive parents charged with murdering girl

Video of court appearance at link-
 

PNW

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One more thing --- There's another legal system problem in Hawaii. If children have to testify against someone, like Ariel's older sister might have to, they are required to appear on the witness stand in open court with the defendents (i.e. the adoptive parents) present in the courtroom. This needs to be changed, so please mention this as well, if you write the Governor. Many other states allow minor children to testify via video link, or similar.

The current Hawaii court system has a MAJOR chilling effect on children who are testifying against sexual abusers or other abusers, like the defendants in this case. I know this is correct due to a situation that my family went through. They need to change this law and allow little children some degree of protection when testifying. It really traumatizes kids all over again to have to sit in the same courtroom with their abusers and be grilled by often hostile defense attorneys in front of the very people who abused them. This needs to be changed ASAP and before Ariel's sibling might have to testify.
It’s like this in Washington State, too. I think most states are like this with people having the right to face their accusers.
 

Tealgrove

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I just don’t understand how these people were permitted to adopt children.

As a dog breeder, they wouldn’t have passed my “smell” test to adopt one of my puppies let alone children.

What was done to Ariel is horrific. That poor little girl.

So disgusted.
 

imstilla.grandma

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The sister, who is older, said she knows Isabella is “dead because she was there,” the court documents said.

“Lehua then filled the bathtub with water and put (Isabella) in it to see if she would wake up, but it did not work,” the documents said.

The sister had to help carry Isabella to their bedroom, the documents said.

The mother then drained the tub and a few days later, Isaac Kalua went to a hospital pretending he had COVID-19 symptoms, the documents said.

The sister told police she knew he was pretending because he took time off work to “help mom,” the documents said, “to get rid of the stuff ... evidence."

The sister told police Lehua Kalua bought the dog cage on the internet even though they didn't have a dog. Kalua said she bought it because Isabella would sneak around at night and want to eat because she was hungry. The sister said Isabella would be hungry because Kalua wouldn't feed her and the sister tried to sneak food to her sometimes, according to the court documents.

Isabella was kept in the cage at night, the sister told police.

After reporting Isabella missing, Lehua Kalua told police the girl had a habit of going into the garage and falling asleep and would sometimes leave doors unlocked, according to the affidavit. She also told police their home surveillance system constantly stops working.

According to the affidavit, police recovered surveillance footage on Sept. 13 that showed Isabella was last seen on cameras on Aug. 18.
Missing Hawaii Girl Believed Dead Was Found Inside Dog Cage Not Breathing Months Ago, Sister Tells Police
 

Dave99

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It’s like this in Washington State, too. I think most states are like this with people having the right to face their accusers.
I agree and understand that defendants have the right to face their accusers. I also know from personal experience that it can be horrifically traumatizing for a young child to have to sit a few feet away, in person, from a monster who attacked or abused them. Then they have to endure and stand up to, as a child, cross examination by defense attorneys. You'd think the defense attorneys (and judge) would be sensitive to the child's trauma, but you'd often be wrong. The defense attorneys want to get their client off and that means attacking the credibility of the child victim, which traumatizes them all over again. Luckily, some states have adopted reasonable statutes to allow minor children to testify via closed circuit camera from a location where they can feel much safer and be less traumatized. Virginia is one such state. Every state should enact rules to protect these child victim's mental health while testifying. Here's some information about Virginia's closed circuit testifying rules:

Introduction
Virginia, among a number of other states, has taken steps in recent years to reduce the trauma experienced by child victims when they must testify in court about what happened to them. One such step is a 1988 amendment to the Code of Virginia that allows child victims in criminal proceedings to testify from a room outside the courtroom via two-way closed-circuit television.

Here's the link to the full article: Child Witness Testimony in Court: Protocol for Using Closed-Circuit Equipment | Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services

I believe that many people really underestimate how traumatizing it can be for a very young child to physically confront someone who has attacked or molested them, with lots of people watching in the courtroom. Testifying via live, closed circuit video is, imho, a reasonable compromise to protect the children's well being, while still allowing the defendant to face their accuser. I know that many cases of children being molested or attacked do not complete prosecution since the children's parents or caretakers choose to withdraw them from the process once they see the mental harm that live courtroom testimony is likely to cause their child. JMO MOO
 
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doyoulovemepfg

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I just saw this thread for the first time and I had to go grab a trash can before I read the full allegations of what these monsters did to this sweet innocent baby. I hope they are able to find her so her bio family can give her the dignity of a proper funeral - and that these heinous creatures who did this to Ariel never see the light of day again.
Praying so hard for all of Ariel’s siblings who had to be in the home and experience this, they will all need lots of love and trauma processing going forward.
 

Helloyou

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I wonder if “getting rid of the evidence” included taking the pictures to the trash, making it as though she never existed? If she was gone for that long, maybe it was the family member that worked there, feeling guilty and turning it in?

Did this also mean that the backpack with her things was planted by the parents to make it look like she ran away?
 

MarziPanda

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I can't believe they ever expected to get away with this, honestly. She was last seen on cameras 18th of August, and there's a witness old enough to remember and testify. There's no explaining why she wasn't on the home CCTV for a month, coming and going with the family. If they'd reported her missing only a few days after she'd died, maybe they'd have been believed. I'm glad they're so incompetent.

If it's the only positive thing they ever do for Ariel, they need to tell LE where they put her so that she can have a proper burial. Her poor older sibling must be so traumatised too, being forced to carry their younger sister's body. I hope they are given lots of therapy and a safe loving place to heal.
 

AC's Grandma

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It’s definitely state specific as to whether financial support ends if the child is adopted from foster care. I have a friend who adopted two from CA foster care. Neither are special needs and she still gets a stipend for them every month, in addition to food benefits, Medicaid, and free daycare. They moved to Texas at the start of covid and the food and medical benefits for the kids just transferred to Texas paying for them, but CA is still paying their monthly care stipend. The only ones in the family that qualify for food and insurance benefits are the two adopted ones. It really surprised me that you can adopt kids and still have the state pay for them.
It is the same setup here in Florida with a stipend every month even after adopted if they are special needs along with food benefits, Medicaid and free daycare. They also are given a free college education.
 

bleuboy

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I dont think she will be found sadly. I think she was took to the refuse center a month ago. Didnt i hear an adoption of the 1 year old was due to be finalised very soon? I think that is why she had to be reported missing now. Surely they check on the children already living at the property before they will let an adoption finalise. The trauma the 12 year old went through seeing her sister treated like that and the woke up to see her dead. why wake the 12 year old up if not to traumatise her? What else could the reason be. She said they both woke her up so they really didnt need her to help carry ariel. That was also probably done to traumatise her.
 

Unalienable Rights

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I dont think she will be found sadly. I think she was took to the refuse center a month ago. Didnt i hear an adoption of the 1 year old was due to be finalised very soon? I think that is why she had to be reported missing now. Surely they check on the children already living at the property before they will let an adoption finalise. The trauma the 12 year old went through seeing her sister treated like that and the woke up to see her dead. why wake the 12 year old up if not to traumatise her? What else could the reason be. She said they both woke her up so they really didnt need her to help carry ariel. That was also probably done to traumatise her.

There was a hearing scheduled on 11/16 concerning finalizing the adoption of the 1 year old, and it was postponed until a date in Feb. Obviously, now that there has been an arrest, there is thankfully no way that she will be adopted by the Kaluas. The bio family has been looking for an attorney to try to reverse the adoption of the other three girls (including Ariel.) There is a lot of different things that they are trying to do legally, including assuring that the 12 year old will receive the intensive therapy she will need as well as any medical treatment she might need. They also want Ariel's original name legally restored so that the death and burial records won't have the Kalua name.

It is unbearable to think of how Ariel suffered for such a long time, and the 12 year old has obviously suffered unthinkable abuse as well (the example you gave is an indication of that.) I wouldn't be surprised if there were more charges against the Kaluas in regard to abuse of the 12 year old.
 

mooseandcoffee

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I am new to this story and don't know details. I see that the biological parents are trying to get the kids back--why were they up for adoption originally?

So sad for this little girl and her siblings.
 

Unalienable Rights

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I am new to this story and don't know details. I see that the biological parents are trying to get the kids back--why were they up for adoption originally?

So sad for this little girl and her siblings.

The bio parents lost custody because of drug issues and because they were homeless. The extended bio family is not trying to get custody back for the parents, but there are family members on both sides who were not notified or given the opportunity to take the children when they were taken and given to the Kaluas. The following article about the 2 grandmothers gives some background:

Grandmother of missing Waimanalo girl wanted ‘a chance’
 

ChatteringBirds

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IF extended family wasn't considered to take these children but wanted to be considered, that's horrific.
Being put into foster care with strangers is always traumatic, even if they are good foster parents.
So I thought they tried to always looked for relatives to foster when possible, is that not true?
 

Unalienable Rights

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IF extended family wasn't considered to take these children but wanted to be considered, that's horrific.
Being put into foster care with strangers is always traumatic, even if they are good foster parents.
So I thought they tried to always looked for relatives to foster when possible, is that not true?

I think that the biological family is always supposed to be considered first. If you read the article I linked above, the paternal grandmother is a licensed social worker and she didn't know the children had been taken. I heard her interviewed and she said that her son (the father) had been estranged from his family for a time, and she had moved to the Big Island. She heard that a little girl named Isabella Kalua in Waimanalo had gone missing, and she didn't recognize the name. Then she saw a missing poster and saw her granddaughter, Ariel Seller's, picture.
 

PNW

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I agree and understand that defendants have the right to face their accusers. I also know from personal experience that it can be horrifically traumatizing for a young child to have to sit a few feet away, in person, from a monster who attacked or abused them. Then they have to endure and stand up to, as a child, cross examination by defense attorneys. You'd think the defense attorneys (and judge) would be sensitive to the child's trauma, but you'd often be wrong. The defense attorneys want to get their client off and that means attacking the credibility of the child victim, which traumatizes them all over again. Luckily, some states have adopted reasonable statutes to allow minor children to testify via closed circuit camera from a location where they can feel much safer and be less traumatized. Virginia is one such state. Every state should enact rules to protect these child victim's mental health while testifying. Here's some information about Virginia's closed circuit testifying rules:

Introduction
Virginia, among a number of other states, has taken steps in recent years to reduce the trauma experienced by child victims when they must testify in court about what happened to them. One such step is a 1988 amendment to the Code of Virginia that allows child victims in criminal proceedings to testify from a room outside the courtroom via two-way closed-circuit television.

Here's the link to the full article: Child Witness Testimony in Court: Protocol for Using Closed-Circuit Equipment | Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services

I believe that many people really underestimate how traumatizing it can be for a very young child to physically confront someone who has attacked or molested them, with lots of people watching in the courtroom. Testifying via live, closed circuit video is, imho, a reasonable compromise to protect the children's well being, while still allowing the defendant to face their accuser. I know that many cases of children being molested or attacked do not complete prosecution since the children's parents or caretakers choose to withdraw them from the process once they see the mental harm that live courtroom testimony is likely to cause their child. JMO MOO
Yes, I have worked as a Child Sexual Assault Victim Advocate and have accompanied children to court. It is traumatizing and scary for some of them.
 

Knox

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I dont think she will be found sadly. I think she was took to the refuse center a month ago. Didnt i hear an adoption of the 1 year old was due to be finalised very soon? I think that is why she had to be reported missing now. Surely they check on the children already living at the property before they will let an adoption finalise. The trauma the 12 year old went through seeing her sister treated like that and the woke up to see her dead. why wake the 12 year old up if not to traumatise her? What else could the reason be. She said they both woke her up so they really didnt need her to help carry ariel. That was also probably done to traumatise her.
I questioned that as well, it made no sense if they wanted to keep a secret. I suspect the evil monsters had Ariel's sister "help" in some fashion, i.e., put the duct tape on her. They woke her and made her watch/help to say it was her fault Ariel died, that would secure her silence. She didn't come forward to tell what she knew until November 5th, that was a long time to keep such an ugly secret. Lord knows what they threatened her with/told her. As we've all said, she is going to need intensive therapy after what the Kalua's did to her. I hope everyone around her is praising her daily for the courage it took to come forward.
 

Unalienable Rights

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I questioned that as well, it made no sense if they wanted to keep a secret. I suspect the evil monsters had Ariel's sister "help" in some fashion, i.e., put the duct tape on her. They woke her and made her watch/help to say it was her fault Ariel died, that would secure her silence. She didn't come forward to tell what she knew until November 5th, that was a long time to keep such an ugly secret. Lord knows what they threatened her with/told her. As we've all said, she is going to need intensive therapy after what the Kalua's did to her. I hope everyone around her is praising her daily for the courage it took to come forward.

I agree that the Kaluas forced the sister to help with their evil deeds as a way to guarantee her silence. I suspect that has been the pattern throughout the time the girls lived with them. I remember hearing about how, a couple of years ago, Ariel got slime or gum (some sticky substance) in her long, thick hair. It is said that instead of washing her hair, Lehua forced the then 10 year old sister to cut off Ariel's hair. It is frightening to think about what all she might have been forced to participate in over the 2+ years. She is a brave little girl to finally speak up, and I hope that she is in a place where she is receiving support she needs.
 
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Fortunately the “parents”, and I use that term lightly, seem to not be very bright given that they reported her missing and had to know surveillance footage would show she hadn’t been around for a month and that there was a witness to her death that would be interviewed…so I’m wondering if cell phone data will come into play for potentially seeing what they did with this sweet babies body. I don’t know much about the island or how many potential places there could be to hide a body. They clearly had time to plan, but they don’t seem to have much foresight…I’m hoping maybe one turns on the other and will give up her location. My friend said these people are animals. Animals? Animals don’t deserve such insult. This is pure evil, something animals know nothing about.
 

cvaldez1975

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One more thing --- There's another legal system problem in Hawaii. If children have to testify against someone, like Ariel's older sister might have to, they are required to appear on the witness stand in open court with the defendents (i.e. the adoptive parents) present in the courtroom. This needs to be changed, so please mention this as well, if you write the Governor. Many other states allow minor children to testify via video link, or similar.

The current Hawaii court system has a MAJOR chilling effect on children who are testifying against sexual abusers or other abusers, like the defendants in this case. I know this is correct due to a situation that my family went through. They need to change this law and allow little children some degree of protection when testifying. It really traumatizes kids all over again to have to sit in the same courtroom with their abusers and be grilled by often hostile defense attorneys in front of the very people who abused them. This needs to be changed ASAP and before Ariel's sibling might have to testify.
thats horrible! they need to change it to a forensic interview that can be referred to. poor keikis!!!
 
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