Duncan Mahi: Mikella DeBina kidnapper was convicted of strangling and abusing another woman in 2018
HONOLULU, HAWAII: Duncan Mahi, a 52-year-old man from Hilo arrested for kidnapping Mikella DeBina, 15, has a criminal history dating back to 1989. According to a criminal complaint filed in Hawaii, he has been charged with an 11-count indictment after he allegedly kidnapped and confined DeBina before she was rescued by two Good Samaritans.
Mahi was out on supervised release at the time of the kidnapping in connection with a 2018 incident, according to court documents obtained by The US Sun. He was convicted of strangling and abusing a woman and then threatening responding police officers, court records show. He also did not show up to his August 16 court appearance for a traffic infraction or his August 31 court appearance connected to the crime he committed in 2018. On September 13, a warrant was issued for his arrest and he kidnapped Mikella three days later.
DeBina went through a frightening 22 hours while she was held captive. According to court documents, Mahi shackled and kept her inside a yellow bus behind his home. He also forced her to smoke methamphetamine, KHON2 reported.
DeBina was allegedly abducted at knifepoint on Friday, September 16, 2022, while she was with her boyfriend at the beach in Anaehoomalu Bay. Mikella's aunt Laurene DeBina told Hawaii News Now that the suspect approached them while they were together, made Mikella tie up her boyfriend, and then abducted her. “He had my niece tie up her boyfriend, blindfold him, and then took her,”she said, adding that the cops detected a signal from the girl's phone near the Kona airport about 20 miles away. They also found a bag nearby, with her dress inside.
The 15-year-old's kidnapping triggered the state’s second-ever Maile Amber Alert and an island-wide search for the teenager was launched. Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced the charges against Mahi on Tuesday, September 20. He has been charged with kidnapping, robbery, terroristic threatening, and meth trafficking in connection with a series of incidents that took place on Friday, September 16. Prosecutors have sought an extended term of imprisonment so that Mahi has to serve a life term.
DeBina was found one day later after she reportedly convinced Mahi to drive to Hawaii restaurant Cafe Pesto for food. The general manager of the restaurant said one of his employees ended up locating the missing girl. Bridge Hartman, who works as a host, was alerted when the suspect acted uncomfortably at the front of the restaurant alongside DeBina. Hartman noticed Mikella crying and quickly jumped into action. He grabbed her and yelled at everyone in the restaurant to chase and nab the abductor.
A woman, identified as Kori Takaki, was having her lunch when she realized something was wrong and ran to help. "It all just happened so fast, where he was bringing her in, and he said, 'This is her. This is her.' And I was like, 'Oh my gosh," Takaki told KHON. DeBina had been rescued by the time Takaki rushed over, and Mahi managed to flee in his car. A manhunt was later launched and Mahi was arrested soon after.