Family asks for help searching for missing 11-year-old

By Shayne Enright
Published On: Jul 08 2012 03:55:00 PM HST

A Kaimuki family fears what they thought was a simple runaway case has now turned into something much more serious.

HONOLULU -

Honolulu police and the family of 11-year-old Makanani Tavai-Bright are asking for the public's help to locate the young girl who was last seen Friday night.

The family of Makanani Tavai-Bright, 11, said that the little girl went missing from their Kaimuki home Friday morning.

"It's frightening as a father that I'm not the one protecting her that she might be in a dangerous spot," said Makanani's father Kenneth Bright.

Kenneth and Makanani's mother, Doreen Tavai-Bright, are desperate to find their daughter.

They received reports of possible sightings in the Waikiki area.

On Sunday, family and friends passed out fliers with the girl's picture.

Her parents said the young girl has run away before, and they initially thought she did it again.

"It might have started off as a runaway situation but that it turned into a situation where someone has taken her and not letting her comes home or contacts us," said the missing girl's mother, Doreen Tavai-Bright.

Kenneth Tavai-Bright said immediately after realizing his daughter was gone, he went to an area supermarket frequented by his daughter before.
It is there, Kenneth Tavai-Bright said he made a disturbing discovery near the Kapahulu Safeway's outside stairwell, where he found her chopped ponytail.

"I smelled the hair it smelled like my soap, my shampoo it soap her hair color so in my head it's hers," said the missing girl's father.

The family runs a home care service, and Doreen Tavai-Bright says staff saw Makanani walk out of the home dressed in school clothes around 6 a.m. Friday morning, carrying a backpack.

However, the staff did not think it was unusual.

"I just want her home this is my baby she needs to be home with us," said the girl's father.
Makanani Tavai-Bright is described as about 4 feet 2 inches, weighing 65 pounds.

She has dark brown hair and brown eyes-- and was last seen wearing a multi-colored hoodie, black plaid shorts and shoes.

She was also carrying a light green camouflage backpack.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 955-8300.

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