14 years after a mom’s disappearance, her family continues search for answers

The family has no leads in the case, but is hopeful re-examinations of the evidence could shed light on what happened.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:43 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:59 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It has been 14 years since the disappearance of Big Island resident Marlo Moku and her family is still looking for any sign of her.

When Marlo Moku’s youngest sister, Kawehi Moku, received an MAILE AMBER alert about a missing teenager last Friday, it took her back 14 years ago ― when Marlo Moku didn’t come home.

“So many cases of missing women, some they have been found and you know, we’re so thankful for that because that helps us to keep hope and keep Marlo’s name alive,” said Kawehi Moku.

The last time she spoke with her sister was Sept. 23, 2008.

Her sister may have gone to the 7-11 on Kaumana Drive, but it’s unclear what happened after that.

Two weeks later, Moku’s car was found at the bottom of a steep cliff in Hakalau.

Hawaii police say there was no sign of foul play.

“Due to the area where it was recovered, a lot of physical evidence was lost due to the elements and the ocean water washing up on the vehicle,” said Hawaii Police Department Captain, Rio Amon Wilkins. “A mechanical inspection was done on the vehicle that determined that there were no defects with the vehicle itself.”

Although Moku was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a younger age, her family doubts she would have just abandoned her kids. Kawehi Moku said her sister was regularly going in for treatment.

“So from the time her daughter was born until she went missing she was not sick,” said Kawehi Moku. “And we also had hoped that she would show up to her doctors to get her shot after she went missing, but she never did.”

State Rep. Stacelyn Eli is hoping a task force for missing Native Hawaiian women and girls will help bring closure to families like the Moku’s.

“We need to be supportive of these families, of law enforcement,” said Eli. “Making sure that we’re doing everything we possibly can until these girls are found.”

“We’re not giving up, days are hard, but we just keep pushing through,” added Kawehi Moku. “And we just hope and pray that we get answers.”

Marlo Moku would be 47 now.

In 2014, police sent items recovered from where Marlo was last seen for testing, but Amon-Wilkins said the results didn’t lead to any new information.

The family asked that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.