The adoptive parents of a missing 6-year-old Hawaii girl have been arrested on suspicion of murder – months after reporting that she vanished from their home, police said.
Isaac and Lehua Kalua were arrested Wednesday during a police and FBI raid in the disappearance of Isabella Kalua, whom they adopted in January and reported missing in mid-September – a month after Honolulu police say they killed the girl, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
Cops have yet to recover Isabella’s body, but were searching the couple’s home in the Waimanalo section of Honolulu Wednesday, the newspaper reported.
Lehua Halua, 43, was taken into custody on suspicion of second-degree murder at her home, while Isaac Kalua, 52, was arrested on the same charge at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, where he works. The couple reported the girl – born Ariel Sellers – missing on Sept. 13, saying they last saw her in her bedroom the night before.
The San Antonio Police Department is “sparing no assets or resources” in trying to find a 3-year-old girl who disappeared at a Northwest Side apartment complex Monday evening, Chief William McManus said.
McManus said officers are searching every unit and car at the Villas Del Cabo complex in the 9400 block of Fredericksburg Road, where Lina Sardar Khil was last seen.
Lina was at a playground at the apartment complex with her mother and other children between 5-6 p.m. when her mother left and returned to find her daughter missing, the chief said in a news conference Tuesday morning.
It is unclear exactly how long the mother was away, but McManus said she returned a “short time later.” McManus said the girl wasn’t left alone and there were other kids at the playground, which is open within the complex.
he family reported the child missing around 7:15 p.m., and an AMBER Alert was issued.
Officers searched the area by foot and air Monday but did not locate her. SAPD continued their search Tuesday morning and asked the FBI for assistance.
Officers are going door by door to each apartment — there are under 300 units in the complex — to search for Lina.
Officers are also searching for video, checking cars and dumpsters, and recording license plates due to the “suspicious nature of the disappearance,” he added.
“We have every available asset in the police department working on the case right now,” he said, adding that “we are sparing no assets or resources.”
Officers are also trying to identify the other people at the playground Monday evening.
So far, the mother and residents have been cooperative, McManus said.
The last time that Kevin Montgomery says he saw his great niece, Harmony, she “looked like a scared puppy.”
The terrified look on the then-5-year-old’s face appeared during a contentious situation at the Manchester, New Hampshire house Montgomery shared with several family members, including Harmony and her parents. The October 2019 incident, which Montgomery said included him trying to push through the front door when he wasn’t allowed in, resulted in a call to the police and a divide in the family.
Montgomery says the incident prompted his nephew, Harmony’s father, to stop all communication with a slew of other family members, including blocking some of them on social media.
“Then the pandemic hit, and I just assumed Harmony and that side of the family was ok. I was worried, of course, but assumed everything was ok because I had not heard anything,” Montgomery, 43, told The Daily Beast on Monday.
But New Hampshire authorities say that Harmony hasn’t been seen since October 2019—and was only reported missing last week. On Dec. 31, the Manchester Police Department put out a “missing child” alert after learning of her years-long disappearance, and launched an investigation to find the 4-foot-tall girl who should be wearing glasses and is blind in her right eye.
The Manchester Mayor’s chief of staff Lauren Smith told The Daily Beast that the office received an email last week “primarily regarding concerns with the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF)” in connection to Harmony. The email, which Smith admitted “was slightly vague on details,” was ultimately forwarded to the Manchester Police Department.
“For us to have a two-year delay, that is extremely concerning," Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said on Friday while announcing an investigation into Harmony’s disappearance. “That's not something that happens to us on a regular basis. It doesn't happen every day.”
Since the New Year’s Eve missing child alert, Aldenberg said that his department has been working “non-stop” to find Harmony alongside DCYF and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. On Sunday, investigators also searched a property on Gilford Street that once belonged to a member of the Montgomery family. City assessor records indicate the home was sold in 2020.
By Monday, authorities announced a combined $12,500 reward for information about Harmony’s whereabouts, as well as a 24-hour tip line for the case that is still being investigated as a missing person’s case.
“I am in rescue mode right now. This is not a recovery. All efforts are focused on that Harmony is alive…until somebody points to me that proves that she is not. We have to operate under the assumption that she is alive,” Aldenberg said during an impassioned speech during a press conference. “Help us find this little girl. Someone knows something. Do what is right and call in. I cannot emphasize this enough. Someone out there knows something."
The chief, who said that 35 investigators are on the case, added Monday that “many” of Harmony’s family members have also been interviewed in an attempt to fill in the blanks as to what happened over the last two years. Aldenberg declined to comment on details of those conversations but noted that nobody has been officially cleared in the investigation.
Harmony’s mother, Crys Renee Sorey, also took to Facebook to plead for information to help solve the mysterious case. Another woman, who identified herself as Harmony's older cousin, wrote on social media that the 7-year-old was “known to be in the custody of her father.”
“HARMONY MOMMYS COMING FOR YOU I PROMISE & I WILL NEVER LET YOU GO!!!! HANG ON BABY!!!!” Sorey wrote in her post alongside photos of the blond-haired girl.
Police have not released any information about Harmony’s parents, and have not confirmed the claim that Harmony had been in her father's custody. Montgomery, however, told The Daily Beast that Sorey met with authorities today for a “polygraph and DNA test.” Sorey did not respond to a request for comment.
Harmony’s great uncle admits he has accepted the grim reality that he may “never see her alive again,” and says he had been worried about the child’s safety for years.
Adam Montgomery, the father of missing 7-year-old Manchester, New Hampshire girl Harmony Montgomery, is now facing several charges as investigators released new information in the case Wednesday.
Montgomery was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony second-degree assault stemming from alleged 2019 conduct against Harmony. He is also facing a misdemeanor charge of interference with custody, and two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
He was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Hillsborough County Superior Court, but attorneys arranged for him to be held without bail and the hearing was not held.
Montgomery is not charged in his daughter’s disappearance at this point in the investigation.
Harmony Montgomery has been missing since October 2019, but police were only notified recently about her disappearance.
According to court records released Wednesday, Manchester Police got a call on November 18, 2021, from Harmony’s biological mother, Crystal Sorey, saying her daughter was missing and that the girl’s father had custody of her.
Police reached out to DCYF which started a search for Adam Montgomery. They told police on December 27 they couldn’t find him, so detectives started searching for him. Investigators later learned that Harmony “had not been physically seen since October/November 2019,” according to the affidavit filed Wednesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court.
Sorey, who lives in Lowell, lost custody of Harmony in July 2018 “in part due to a substance abuse issue.”
“Crystal said that both she and Adam had past issues with substance abuse,” prosecutors said in the court documents.
Since then, Sorey told authorities she got sober and tried to track down Harmony and Adam, adding that she last saw her daughter during a Facetime video call around Easter in 2019 and that Harmony “seemed frightened.”
During their search the last two weeks, police spoke to Adam’s brother Michael Montgomery. He told them Adam was physically abusive to Harmony and gave her a black eye.
A detective then talked to Adam’s uncle Kevin Montgomery and asked him about Harmony’s eye injury.