Khiara Henry tip proves it’s not her; family of missing Maui visitor ‘hasn’t been the same’
February 11, 2023, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated February 11, 7:40 AM
A recent tip about someone on the Big Island who looks like Khiara Lavinia Henry, a young visitor who went missing more than three years ago on Maui, proved that it is not her — and the Henry family is renewing calls for public help.
“Please continue to keep an eye out,” California resident Leslie Moore, Henry’s cousin who oversees tips, told Maui Now on Thursday. “She is still an active missing person with no new solid pictures, leads or connections to where she is.”
A woman near 7-Eleven in Pahoa, Hawai’i island, who looks like Henry, was confirmed by her driver’s license to be someone else, Hawai’i County and Maui police said Friday. Moore said the tip from a Big Island traveling nurse who thought she saw Henry was the first “credible” one the family received in quite some time. A Hawai’i County police news release about the tip went out last week seeking information.
“Hawai’i County police made checks in the Pāhoa area close to 7-Eleven. They located a female matching the description of Khiara, however upon making contact with the female they were able to identify her through her California ID as not being Khiara,” Maui police Detective Sgt. LeeAnn Galario-Guzman wrote to Henry’s family on Friday.
San Diego resident Henry, then 23, took a trip to Maui in 2019 — but never boarded her return flight back home.
She was last seen July 21, 2019, at a Kahului car rental agency. Henry’s vehicle with belongings were found two days later at Waiʻānapanapa State Park in East Maui.
About three and a half years have passed since that trip, and oldest sister Theadra Hammond of Nevada said her family will never be the same without Khiara Henry, who would be 26 now.
“I miss my sister a lot. Everything — from her smile to her laughter. Me, my brother and my sister, or even my parents, bring up memories we had with Khiara,” Hammond told Maui Now this week. “She’s still the missing piece of our family. It hasn’t been the same.”
“I go through moments where I’m really missing her,” she added. “I just cry and it’s tough.”
Moore and Hammond said they appreciate the tips that come through, and encouraged the public to reach out directly to the Henry family with any information through the family hotline at 808-757-5102 or via the Find Khiara Henry Facebook page.
The Henry family said sometimes people contact them with graphic information or post on social media with misleading details, such as someone finding Khiara Henry. The family tries to clarify any public posts.
“Pretty much what we want is to let people know she’s still missing, hopefully she’s still out there,” Hammond said. “If she is found — they will hear from us personally as her family.”
Ultimately, Henry family members in California and in Nevada are grateful that the tight-knit communities in Hawai’i keep an eye out for their loved one.
“The family is grateful for people who are really loving their daughter and wanting to help and the concerns that pour in,” Moore said. “Gratitude is one of the biggest things that the family wants to convey. Without everyone’s support — and eyes and ears and love and encouragement — it would be very difficult. They are very grateful.”
The Maui Police Department remains the lead agency in this ongoing investigation, a spokesperson for the department told Maui Now on Thursday.