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Authorities search for 6-year-old girl last seen in her bedroom on Sept. 12

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Image source: KITV-TV video screenshot

The Honolulu Police Department along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation are looking for a missing 6-year-old Hawaii girl who was last seen in her bedroom on Sunday night.

What are the details?

According to a Friday report from ABC News, authorities are seeking the whereabouts of the child, 6-year-old Isabella Kalua, who was last seen asleep in her bedroom in Waimanalo.

Authorities — who have been tirelessly working alongside members of the U.S. Coast Guard and volunteer search crews — said that they aren't yet ruling out foul play.

Police said the child stands approximately 3'3," weighs 46 pounds, and has a brown eyes and brown hair. Isabella, who is of mixed race descent, was last wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black leggings, colorful socks, and Nike slides before she went missing.

It remains unclear whether Isabella was wearing the shoes while sleeping in her bedroom.

'Individuals ... who have yet to come forward to be interviewed'

Isabella's aunt, Alena Kaeo, told KITV-TV that she can't bring herself to consider the worst-case scenario.

"But it is always a possibility," she said. "Again, I'm trying to keep my faith as strong as possible, and I pray — I pray hard that she is safe. I don't want to think the worst, but it is a possibility."

"We have conducted numerous interviews; however, there are still individuals, to include acquaintances and family members, who have yet to come forward to be interviewed," police said in a statement to the station. "We hope that this will change in the near future as the investigation and search for Isabella continues. At this time foul play has not been ruled out."

Going deeper

A foster family adopted Isabella in January, changing her name from her birth moniker, Ariel Sellers.

KGMB-TV reported that Isabella's adoptive father, Isaac Kalua III — AKA Sonny Kalua — was convicted on three counts of terroristic threatening and assault 20 years ago and sentenced to five years probation.

Isaac and his wife Lehua Kalua — Isabella's adoptive mother — have reportedly not publicly participated in any search efforts since the child has disappeared. The two are also said to have requested an attorney.

Isaac on Thursday confirmed to the Associated Press that he and his wife adopted Isabella in January.

"We're instructed by the detectives from day one that we're not supposed to talk to reporters," he said.

'I think something happened'

Isabella's biological mother, 33-year-old Melanie Joseph, said that she last saw her daughter during a scheduled visit approximately one year ago and said that there were signs of physical abuse.

Joseph — who lost custody of her five children due to drug abuse — said that Isabella is not the type to simply wander off.

"I think something happened," she said.

She noted that the Kalua family had custody of four of Joseph's five daughters. A fifth daughter is said to live with a Joseph family relative.

Members of the Joseph family now say that Child Welfare Serv­ices took custody of Isabella's siblings, ages 12, 3, and 1 after the 6-year-old inexplicably went missing.

'Several red flags'

KGMB-TV reported that an area foster care expert says that there are "several red flags" in Isabella's disappearance, including concerns over her adoptive father's criminal history.

Steve Lane told the station, "I'd ask who the social worker was, who approved this family. And on what basis."

"The broad outlines of what's required of the Department of Human Services in licensing a foster parent giving them wide opportunity to deny a license," Lane mused. "It's inconceivable to me that anybody with that kind of criminal record and convictions of physical violence would be licensed as a foster family."

A second red flag, Lane added, is that the child's adoptive family withdrew her from school in June.

Hawaii's Department of Education confirmed that the child attended kindergarten at Waimanalo Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year, but her adoptive parents withdrew her in June to home-school her.

According to Lane, such behavior is a tactic that has been used in the past to conceal evidence of child abuse.

"There's virtually nothing that you have to do to warrant your application for home schooling to be approved," he explained. "Nor is there any supervision provided for children once they are placed in home school."

Possible development

The Honolulu Star Advertiser on Thursday reported that some of the child's personal effects may have been discovered inside Bellows Air Force Base.

The outlet reported that officers on the scene would not confirm reports that a backpack and a bag with toys and slippers was discovered — both of which purportedly belonged to Isabella.

The investigation into Isabella's whereabouts continues into its fifth day as of Friday.

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