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Judge declares Hawaii girl who was kept in dog cage dead after she went missing 2 years ago


HONOLULU (TCD) -- A judge declared a missing 6-year-old girl dead two years after she disappeared and her adoptive parents were charged in connection with her death.

KHON-TV reports a judge made the ruling in probate court Thursday, July 27, and officially declared Isabella Kalua deceased, saying she likely died some time around Aug. 18, 2021.

Isabella was reported missing to the Honolulu Police Department Sept. 13, 2021, after she was reportedly last seen in her bed the night before. Law enforcement officials and family searched for Isabella, but all the searches came up empty.

In November 2021, Honolulu Police arrested Isabella's adoptive parents, Isaac and Lehuna Kalua, for second-degree murder. Court records show they both face charges of murder, hindering prosecution, and multiple counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. Lehuna is also being charged with child abuse.

They both pleaded not guilty.

According to court documents cited by Hawaii News Now, Isaac and Lehuna allegedly locked Isabella in a dog cage and covered her mouth with duct tape. They reportedly did not feed Isabella and kept the cage in a bathroom.

Hawaii News Now reports that by declaring Isabella dead, her siblings can now sue the state in a civil trial.

2023 Jul 31