22 hours of terror: New details reveal horrors Mikella DeBina suffered at hands of Duncan Mahi

Mikella DeBina's kidnapping triggered the state’s second ever Maile Amber Alert and an island-wide search for the teenager was launched

22 hours of terror: New details reveal horrors Mikella DeBina suffered at hands of Duncan Mahi
Mikella DeBina (L) was allegedly abducted at knifepoint by Duncan Mahi (R) (Cherese Cher Angelel/Facebook and Hawaii Police Department)
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HONOLULU, HAWAII: A 15-year-old girl who was missing and later rescued from her suspected kidnapper by two Good Samaritans, went through a frightening 22 hours while she was kept captive. According to court documents, Mikella DeBina's abductor, Duncan Mahi, a 52-year-old man from Hilo, shackled and kept her inside a yellow bus behind his home. He also forced her to smoke methamphetamine, KHON2 reported.

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Mikella was allegedly abducted at knifepoint on Friday, September 16, 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, blind fold him and then took her,” said Laurene said, adding that 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.

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Mikella'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. He reportedly has two prior felony convictions for terroristic threatening.

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Mikella DeBina's rescue

Mikella was found one day 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 Mikella. 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. 

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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. Mikella had been recovered by the time Takaki rushed over, and Mahi managed to flee in his car. A manhunt was later launched.

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"Kori Takaki, she's our hero as well as another young man that ripped her away from her abductor," Mikella's mother Cher Angelel said. Takaki accompanied Mikella in the back room of the cafe as police began to search for her alleged abductor. "She seemed really scared," Takaki said. "She was shaking. But she seemed I mean, as good as I could imagine."

Mikella was taken to Hilo Medical Center by cops, who reunited her with her family. Angelel announced to a crowd of people who were assisting with the search that her daughter had been found safe. "We saw her on Facetime. She smiled and waved. She's okay!" Angelel said. Mahi was arrested soon after.

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An investigation is underway. Anyone with information can contact Hawaii Island Police Department at 808-935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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