HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - She performs under the name Mermaid Kariel.
But after an overnight home invasion, she's missing a crucial part of her costume — her mermaid tail.
It's a custom work of art she values at nearly $11,000.
She uses the tail in kid-friendly performances at Hawaii hotels where she teaches youngsters about ocean safety, water conservation, and most importantly, self confidence.
"There's been thousands of kids that have enjoyed this. What I give to them is my character and today I woke up and had to scramble and figure out how I was going to see those kids today," said Kariel, who asked that her real name not be used.
Someone took the tail from her back lanai overnight Wednesday. Her property is secured by a gate, and she says whoever took it must've broke through the fence and made their way around back.
"When you go into somebody's personal space, you leave them a feeling of not feeling safe anymore, especially in your own environment," she said. "That's the biggest concern for my family. I just don't feel safe anymore."
Kariel lives with her husband, daughter and pet dog on Oahu's North Shore. For more than a year, she's invested her time and effort to hand craft the tail.
"These tails, they're so much money to buy and take so long to make that it's almost like borrowing someone's wedding dress," she said. "I want my little mermaid wedding dress back."
Blue and sparkly, the tail has over 10,000 hand-sewn sequins. The fins were made from custom silicon molds and hand painted.
Kariel has contacted police, but hopes whoever took it will return it.
"This tail really embodies my dream and it's part of my character and it's how I entertain kids," she said. "I would love to know it's not totally destroyed in the trash and that there's hope of getting it back."
Anyone who sees the one-of-a-kind creation is asked to contact police or email Kariel directly at MermaidKariel@gmail.com.