A 6-year-old girl who was pulled out of school for a week went missing after her adoptive parents put her to bed.
Hundreds of volunteers are searching a region on the island of Oahu in Hawaii after Isabella ‘Ariel’ Kalua disappeared.
A Department of Education representative told Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the young girl’s adoptive parents, Lehua and Sonny, filed paperwork citing homeschooling as the reason for the child’s withdrawal.
According to reports, Isabella’s biological mother Melanie Joseph was told by another parent that the 6-year-old had not been to school in many days.
Steve Lane, a private investigator, said that the lack of oversight over homeschooled children is challenging.
Speaking with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, he said: “There’s no requirement to check if the parents are qualified. That’s why kids die.”
He also mentioned another case of a homeschooled girl who was starved to death by her grandmother and parents.
Lane said that homeschooled children have lower chances of someone recognizing evidence of neglect or abuse.
This is important in the 6-year-old girl’s case whose adopted father has a felony. He has also been convicted of two second-degree assaults, a first-degree terroristic threatening, and an attempted second-degree assault.
Sonny has been approved to foster four of Joseph’s children because she lost them due to substance abuse.
“How did those kids ever get that house?” Lane asked. “You can’t put kids in that kind of household.”
Video footage of a young girl walking alone at 12:45 pm followed by two adults may show Ariel’s abduction.
But Honolulu Interim Police Chief Rade Vanic said in a statement that they “(don’t) have sufficient evidence” to show that Ariel has been abducted.
“We’re hoping she’s not in immediate danger,” he told the Hawaii News Now.
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