Isabella Kalua: Missing Hawaii girl, 6, found dead inside cage, foster parents held
Isabella's sister said the Kaluas asked her to keep secret the fact that Isabella 'was in the bathroom in a dog cage, duct tape on her mouth and nose'
HONOLULU, HAWAII: Isabella Kalua, a six-year-old girl from Hawaii who was last seen on September 12 when her parents put her to bed, allegedly died inside a dog cage in the bathroom, with duct tape on her mouth and nose. Kalua's biological sister told police that their adoptive parents warned her to keep the horror a secret. The new details in the case were revealed in documents filed in court on Friday, November 12, after Isaac and Lehua Kalua were arrested.
The Kaluas, who had adopted Isabella, have been arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder. On September 13, the Kaluas reported Isabella 'Ariel' Kalua missing, following which hundreds of volunteers searched the local neighborhoods for days. The Kaluas were arrested by police on November 10, Wednesday. The police said they believe the girl was killed a month before she was reported missing. However, a body has not been found. The parents, who were being held without bail, appeared in court via video from a cellblock on Friday, November 12.
Although a deputy public defender entered not guilty pleas for them,, it is not clear who their attorneys are going to be, state Public Defender James Tabe said, adding that if both of them qualify for public defenders, one of them is going to have a private attorney appointed. William Harrison, an attorney who has acted as their spokesperson, confirmed that he is not representing them in the case. He has reportedly only spoken for them as a family friend. “All I can say is I’m obviously saddened by what’s written,” he said of the court filing. “I don’t know the details.”
As per the police affidavit in support of warrants for the Kaluas' arrests, Isabella's sister said the Kaluas asked her about two months ago that she must keep secret the fact that Isabella “was in the bathroom in a dog cage, duct tape on her mouth and nose, and she didn't wake up." The sister was reportedly born in 2009 and has been identified by initials I.M.K. in the court documents.
The sister claimed that 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 documents further said that the sister had to help carry the body of Isabella into the bedroom. The bathtub was drained by the mother a few days later. Isaac Kaula than allegedly went to a hospital pretending he had symptoms of Covid-19, and the sister told police that he was pretending because he took time off work to “help mom to get rid of the stuff ... evidence."
The sister also told police that Lehua bought the dog cage despite not having a dog, in order to keep Isabella inside it so that she does not roam around at night looking for food because she was hungry. Isabella would be hungry because Lehua would not feed her, the sister said. Isabella was allegedly kept in the cage at night. Surveillance footage recovered showed that Isabella was last seen on cameras on August 18.