Details of Disappearance
Maleina and her sister, Faloma, were last seen standing at the bus stop in their village of As Teo on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands on May 25, 2011. They were sitting on a cement slab waiting for the 6:30 bus to take them to Kagman Elementary School. They never boarded the bus, however, and have never been heard from again.
When the girls failed to arrive at school, their teachers marked them absent. Their families didn't realize they were missing until 3:30 that afternoon, when they didn't come home as scheduled. Their disappearances were reported to the police at 5:30 p.m.
Garbage collectors said they had stopped to collect garbage behind the Luhk children's bus stop at 5:45 a.m. the day the girls disappeared. They spent about ten minutes picking up the garbage there, and didn't see Faloma, Maleina or any other children at the stop at the time.
The day the girls disappeared was a Wednesday; on the previous Wednesday, and also on the Wednesday before that, the garbage collectors had noticed the same gray Nissan pickup truck in the vicinity of the bus stop.
On May 11, the truck was parked near the gate of the Santa Lourdes Shrine with its high beam headlights turned on; on May 18, the truck was driving in the direction of the bus stop. The garbage collectors did not see the truck on the morning of May 25, however. It's unclear if the truck has any connection to Faloma and Maleina's case.
The garbage collectors did not see the Luhk sisters or any other children at the stop on the morning they disappeared. They did recall seeing the girls on previous days. They noted that on May 11 and again on May 18 they'd seen the same gray Nissan pickup truck near the stop. The garbage collectors stated that in the days before May 25, they'd seen the girls twice. At both sightings, the same gray Nissan pickup truck was nearby.
Faloma and Maleina were both carrying backpacks at the time they vanished. One is described as dark-colored with the owner's name and telephone number written on the straps; the other is a purple Dora the Explorer pack with writing on the shoulder straps. Both backpacks disappeared along with the girls and they haven't been located.
Faloma and Maleina lived with their grandparents at the time of their disappearances; they had since 2007. At the time they went missing, their father was living on the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, and their mother lived in Guam. Their mother returned to Saipan after the girls' disappearances to assist in the search.
Investigators ruled out the girls' parents and most of their other relatives as suspects in their cases. Their mother now lives in Virginia and their father still lives in Micronesia.
Alan Santos Aguon, a former firefighter, is a person of interest in Meleina and Faloma's cases. He is related to them by marriage, and he refused to take a lie detector test about their disappearances. He moved to Burien, Washington in August 2011 and was subsequently arrested there for domestic violence.
Joseph A. Crisostomo was also considered a possible suspect. In 2014, he had been sentenced to life in prison for the 2012 kidnap, rape and murder of a Saipan woman. Authorities dug up his parents' backyard in 2018, looking for the Luhk sisters' bodies. They found no human remains, and Crisostomo's sister stated her brother was in prison on unrelated charges when the girls went missing.
Authorities believe Faloma and Maleina were abducted by someone outside their family. An extensive search has turned up no sign of them and their cases remain unsolved.