Honolulu police today announced that they have arrested two men in connection with the abduction and murder of an 11-year-old `Aiea girl, whose body was found by a hiker yesterday on `Aiea Loop Trail. Kahealani Indreginal was last seen Tuesday afternoon, and her disappearance sparked a massive search and intense community concern. Worry and fear turned to grief and anger as details were revealed by investigators.
One of the two men in custody was a 20-year-old known to the Indreginal family. The other was a 31-year-old homeless man who was arrested at Blaisdell Park near Pearlidge. Lt. William Kato said the motive was likely robbery.
“They saw an easy mark and they took it,” he said.
The official FBI missing person report said Indreginal was wearing four gold Hawaiian bracelets on each arm and a Tahitian pearl-diamond necklace. The Hawaiian bracelets, which police say have not yet been recovered, may have been worth a few hundred dollars each.
While not confirmed by police, local CBS affiliate KGMB has identified the two men as Christopher Aki and Robert Edmund Hicks II. Aki is described as the boyfriend of Kahealani’s 18-year-old sister, Tanya Tumbaga-Mamala. Aki was photographed standing beside Tumbaga-Mamala as she pled for her sister’s safe return.
A formal identification and autopsy of the girl’s body is still pending. A police spokesperson noted that she was fully clothed when found and did not appear to have been sexually molested, but would not comment on speculation about the cause of death.
The girl’s disappearance prompted many agencies to issue warnings and reminders to parents on keeping children safe. With the arrest announcement, HPD hopes to offer some comfort to residents.
“We want to assure the public that there is not some crazy fiend out there abducting children,” said Maj. Darryl Perry.
Police credited neighbors in the Pu`uwai Momi housing complex where the Indreginals lived for the break in the case, and are asking anyone who might have seen anything either at the complex or at the popular hiking trail where the girl’s body was found to come forward.
Kahealani Indreginal was a sixth-grader at `Aiea Elementary School.