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Missing girl report turns out to be false alarm after police find child with relative


Big Island police responded Tuesday afternoon (May 3) around 3:45 p.m. to a report of a missing 8-year-old girl from the vicinity of Chiefs Kapi’olani Elementary School.

The girl’s mother reported that she went to pick up her daughter at their designated pickup location across from the school and that the child was not there. South Hilo Patrol officers conducted checks with faculty and additional witnesses and learned that the child was last seen crossing Moolah Street in the marked crosswalk by the school around 2:20 p.m.

Patrol officers were joined by officers from the Traffic Enforcement Unit, all available detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division and the Hawai’i Fire Department’s helicopter.

Investigators uncovered unconfirmed information that the child may have been picked up by an uncle, although the girl’s parents didn’t ask anyone to pick her up. After determining possible vehicles the child’s uncle may have been driving, one of the detectives located and stopped one of the possible vehicles on Highway 11 between Hilo and Kea’au. The child was in the vehicle unharmed. The uncle told police he had passed the school, seen his niece and picked her up, as he had in the past. He made no personal contact with her parents to notify them.

Police treat such reports of missing children with the highest priority. On Tuesday, they dedicated a great deal of resources to locate the girl. Captain Randall Medeiros of the Criminal Investigations Division urges the public to exercise common sense before offering rides to the children of friends or family members. “We will continue to treat missing children reports as worse case scenarios,” Medeiros said. “This incident caused a great deal of alarm to the child’s family, the school staff, community members and responding officers.”

A Nixle alert was broadcast soon after police received the report. An Amber Alert was not initiated, as the circumstances did not meet the criteria.

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