`Aiea Elementary School student Kahealani Indreginal, 11, was last seen Tuesday afternoon after getting off a school bus near the Pu`uwai Momi housing complex where she lived. The next day, Honolulu police conducted an intensive air and land search of the area, including nearby neighborhoods and trails. Despite an arrest last night, investigators and family members still don’t know where the sixth-grader is.
HPD has set up a special command center in the parking lot of the nearby Aloha Stadium to coordinate the search.
Friends describe the girl as a straight-A student, and someone unlikely to run away from home. The girl’s aunt, Wendy Cacatian, told the Honolulu Advertiser that she had just applied for admission at Kamehameha Schools. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information on her whereabouts.
Police arrested Douglas Kruse, 37, a neighbor and family friend of the Indreginals, but a spokesman said he is not a suspect in the girl’s disappearance. Kruse was already wanted on unrelated contempt and theft warrants.
The girl’s father, 39-year-old Vincent Indreginal, told investigators that he and mother Lehua Tumbaga were visiting family in Wahiawa on Tuesday. They thought their daughter was with her older brother at their Kohomua Street home, but he thought she was with them. They discovered she was missing when they got home at 10 p.m., but police were not notified until Wendesday morning.
Last year Kahealani Indreginal built a couple of web pages as part of `Aiea Elementary’s KidQUEST Technology Enrichment Program. She has six siblings, including younger sister Kuini and older sister Tanya Tumbaga-Mamala.
The girl’s disappearance adds urgency to the Dec. 20 launch of the “MAILE Alert” Hawaii’s version of the nationwide “Amber Alert” for missing children, to be coordinated by HPD, civil defense officials, and local broadcasters. MAILE stands for Minor Abducted in Life-threatening Emergency and is a tribute to Maile Gilbert, a 6-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered in 1985.