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Friday, July 7, 2000

‘Missing’ girls’ auntie
looks forward to sleep

By Steve Murray


A tired but happy Saini Ale can now get some sleep. She reported her two nieces missing Wednesday evening, but they had stayed overnight elsewhere and are safe.

"I'm very tired. I have been up the whole night," she said.

The two girls, 11-year-old Claudia Faamasino and her 9-year-old cousin, Valerie Lilo, were staying at Ale's apartment at 3220 Waialae Ave. when they decided to take TheBus to their Nanakuli home. Ale had taken a nap before her weekly prayer meeting and noticed the girls were gone when she awoke.

"I told them to take a nap too and I thought they did. Maybe they were faking it," she said.

Ale said she heard the girls talking about taking the bus home but told them they couldn't.

"They have never taken the bus (home) before. They are always driven," she said.

The girls didn't reach home, but stopped off at Claudia's uncle's apartment at Kuhio Park Terrace in Kalihi Valley about 8 p.m. Her uncle, Eneliku Faamasino, told the girls to spend the night before going home.

Katherine Faamasino, Eneliku's wife, said the girls didn't tell them they didn't have permission to leave Ale's apartment.

"We thought they were just coming over for a visit," she said. "They told us they were coming from auntie's house."

Katherine Faamasino said they thought the girls came from the home of another aunt who lives at Kuhio Park Terrace.

"We didn't know they were missing," she said.

Unaware of the girls' location, Ale called the police and family members trying to find the girls.

"I don't know why but I didn't even think about calling Claudia's uncle," she said.

Ale's first clue to her nieces' whereabouts came when she received a phone call from Hawaii Kelleher, a member of her church, that she had seen the girls near Claudia's uncle's home.

"I am just so thankful for the aloha spirit in Hawaii that everyone helped so much to find the girls," she said.

She said she plans to have a long talk with her nieces about what they did. "They know what they did is wrong. It is so dangerous what they did," she said.

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