Isabella Kalua’s adoptive parents are scheduled to stand trial early next year.

The trial of Isaac and Lehua Kalua, who are accused of abusing and killing their 6-year-old adopted daughter in Waimanalo, has been postponed to Jan. 15, according to court records. 

The child, Isabella Kalua, who was born Ariel Sellers, was first reported missing on Sept. 13, 2021. A massive search including police and volunteers ensued, but the girl was never found. 

Her adoptive parents were arrested on Nov. 10, 2021, and charged with second-degree murder, according to the Honolulu Police Department. 

Both have pleaded not guilty and remain in custody.

Although Isabella’s body was never found, a probate court judge declared her dead in July, opening a path for a civil lawsuit to be filed on behalf of her family members.

The trial was previously scheduled to start on Monday. It has been continued six times. 

A representative of her estate filed suit on Aug. 14 against Isaac and Lehua Kalua, the Department of Human Services and Catholic Charities Hawaii, a nonprofit that reviews foster homes and adoption placement. 

The lawsuit says DHS and Catholic Charities Hawaii ignored multiple reports of abuse while Isabella and her siblings were in the Kaluas’ care. The groups didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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