Police catch 1 girl who
escaped from Kailua facility

A search continues for the
remaining 9 missing juveniles

By Rosemarie Bernardo

Police have arrested one of 10 girls who escaped on Saturday from the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in Kailua.

The 15-year-old juvenile was found at an apartment complex along Pahia Road in Kaneohe at about 5:10 p.m. yesterday, said Sgt. Timmy Wong of the Kailua Substation.

"She didn't make an attempt to run," said Wong, adding the juvenile was to be transported to the youth facility last night.

Meanwhile, the search continues for the other nine girls who escaped after overpowering two workers at the Hookipa Makai cottage.

Private and state employees plan to meet this week to "find out what needs to be done to avoid this from happening again," said Bert Matsuoka, executive director of the state Office of Youth Services.

"Obviously, there are some glitches. There are some bumps that need to be worked out," Matsuoka said.

The girls, ages between 14 and 17, escaped from the facility at about 12:33 p.m. Saturday. They are between 5 feet and 5-foot-8, weighing between 110 and 200 pounds. The girls wore light blue jumpsuits at the time of the escape. Police said the girls were seen leaving the facility in a white 1998 Ford Windstar van with the license plate GXT 744.

According to Sgt. Wong, one of the girls notified a female residential specialist that another girl was feeling ill and needed medication. The residential specialist and a man, who was on his first day of training as a staff member, were overpowered by the girls who escaped from the cottage.

Matsuoka said the girls grabbed several keys located behind the living room door that were used to unlock the cottage and main gate and gain access to the white van that belonged to Child and Family Services. Seven girls remained at the cottage while 10 of them escaped.

Police discovered the location of the 15-year-old girl after receiving a tip, Wong said.

In May, three girls attempted to escape from the facility after they obtained keys to a state vehicle during a recreational period on the property. Matsuoka said security guards were able to stop the girls from escaping after they blocked the roadway.

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