A year after Isabella ‘Ariel’ Kalua’s disappearance, her grieving family continues search for answers

On the anniversary of Ariel kalua’s disappearance, as her adoptive parents await trial, the Waimanalo community is still demanding answers.
Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 5:45 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 12, 2022 at 2:26 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On the anniversary of Isabella “Ariel” Kalua’s disappearance, the Waimanalo community is still demanding answers as her adoptive parents await trial on murder charges.

Ariel’s great aunt, Lana Idao, remembers getting the call that Ariel was missing.

“It was a very scary moment,” said Idao. “We really thought we could find her at that time.”

Idao was one of dozens of people searching in Waimanalo for Ariel.

“Unfortunately, it turned out where we didn’t, and it was very heartbreaking, very heartbreaking.”


HPD said she was last seen asleep in her room at her home on Puha Street.

Her parents said she wandered off in the middle of the night.

“Ariel was a happy-go-lucky baby, she would never walk out in the dark,” said Idao. “She would never do that.”

Two months later, HPD stormed into Ariel’s adoptive parents’ home and Lehua Kalua was put in handcuffs. Her husband, Isaac, was arrested at his job in Pearl Harbor.

Police believe Ariel died a month before the Kaluas reported her missing.

The Kaluas are accused of locking the girl in a dog cage and starving her. Both were charged with murder.

Records revealed Ariel’s older sister was the witness who helped investigators with the timeline of events surrounding her death.

“Just tell us where she’s at so we can lay her to rest in a proper way,” said Idao.

Trial for the murder of Ariel has been delayed five times now. It is now expected to start Feb. 20.

“Frustrating because everybody, not only us, but everybody wants to know the truth,” said Idao.

Loved ones are holding a memorial for Ariel next Saturday. They plan to clean and decorate the fence line at 3:30 p.m. and head to the Waimanalo Gym for a candlelight vigil at sunset. Idao said there will also be a motorcade that will meet at the Enchanted Lake theater at 5:30 p.m. and head out to Waimanalo at 6:30 p.m.

“We want to keep that memory going in a positive way and to remind everybody, you know, if you hear something, see something, say something,” said Idao. “So, we just got to work together and help each other.”