MAKAWAO, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Unforgivable and disgusting – that's how Charli Scott's family members are describing the missing woman's landlord after claims he removed personal items from her home. The five-month pregnant woman has been missing for 11 days now, but family members believe the landlord took her belongings within hours of her disappearance.
"Buzzards pick carrion and he knows she's not here to defend herself," Charli Scott's mother, Kimberlyn, said.
27-year-old Charli went missing on Sunday, February 9th. Five days later, family members say when they arrived at her rental with police who needed to collect DNA evidence – they realized someone had stolen Charli's TV, entertainment center, stove and baby toys for her unborn son.
"He removed baby toys that her sister got her from The Hui. The only reason I can assume he wanted them is because he thought they were valuable, they're handmade. Honestly, those were the items that upset me the most, the baby things," Kim explained.
According to Kim, the landlord demanded hundreds of dollars from the family in exchange for her daughter's items.
"Apparently he has settled on $350 as his amount and he told me the first time I met with him that he would waive that if we would leave him the TV. If not the TV, then I'll take the stove – and it just really felt very ugly and it's not right and I don't ever want to see anyone go through this. It's unbelievably ugly behavior," Kim said.
Hawaii News Now spoke with the landlord, who did not want to be on-camera, he claims Charli owed rent so he took her stuff to "protect it". Family members contend there's no way to prove Charli hasn't paid him, but legal experts say it doesn't matter. Landlord tenant code under Hawai'i law prohibits landlords from entering a tenant's property without a judge's ruling, and they have no authority to remove anything.
Kim says they called the police, but the patrol officer who responded wasn't very helpful.
"The first officer I spoke to said to me that in order for us to do anything about her property, we have to prove that she owned it. Once we proved that she owns it we have to deal with a civil suit and in order to do that I have to be next of kin, or listed as next of kin, and in order to do that I have to prove that she's dead," Kim explained.
Hawaii News Now was in Makawao with Charli's family when they returned with police a second time to retrieve Charli's belongings and tow away a car she bought for parts that had been parked in front of the rental.
"We're supposed to be looking for her and we're here dealing with this," Kim said.
The landlord says the family is lucky he isn't going to press charges for trespassing or burglary. He says family members entered Charli's home without his permission through a window the day they came searching for her.
Charli's mom says something needs to change to ensure families of the missing have more rights.
"A temporary form if needed – that as her parent, until we have determined that she's dead or missing, that we can act on her behalf legally without having to prove that she's dead. That's impossible, it's impossible right now," Kim said.
Maui Police say they're looking into the situation, but cannot comment whether any laws have been broken.