Hawaii mystery: Child's fingers found in trash
The fingers were found in this trash bin a month ago.
March 13th, 2012
08:48 AM ET

Hawaii mystery: Child's fingers found in trash

Police in Honolulu are asking for the public's help in finding the answers to a horrible mystery: How did the fingers of a child end up in a trash bin at a housing complex?

The fingers were found a month ago, according to a Honolulu Police Department news release.

"Laboratory testing has determined that the fingers are those of a child," police said in Monday's release.

The fingers are those of a girl, 2½ to 4 years old, CNN affiliate KHON-TV reported, citing police sources. Six fingers were recovered, according to the report.

Gina Rose Vendegna, who lives near the Kukui Gardens housing complex in Honolulu's Kalihi neighborhood, told KHON that she found the fingers in the trash bin while looking for material to recycle.

When she came across a zippered plastic bag with the fingers inside, she said, she mistook them for ginger root and took them home.

"I'm a gardener, and I recycle, and I thought I'd be able restore them. So I threw them in my purse," KHON quotes Vendegna as saying.

When she got home, she took a second look at her find.

"I knew for a fact those were fingers when I seen the fingernails. And people I tried showing them to tried telling me that it wasn't, that it might be monkey fingers. And I thought just by chance I'm going to call the Police Department, turn 'em in and let them decide," she told KHON.

Police said Vendegna was not a suspect.

Checks of missing person reports and local hospitals, as well as interviews of residents of the housing complex, have not turned up any leads, police told CNN affiliates.

"Twenty-five years in the department, I've not seen something like this where we've just found partial," police Sgt. Kim Buffett told affiliate Hawaii News Now.

Residents of the housing complex are scared.

"I have chicken skin," Noelani Dilyard told Hawaii News Now. "It's creepy. It really is."

Children who live in the complex and use a nearby playground said they were frightened, and adults said they'd be extra cautious with their kids.

"Maybe I never let them go out because, you know, scary," resident Monimer Serna said.

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Filed under: Crime • Hawaii
soundoff (372 Responses)
  1. ICUnurse

    It's a sad world when the people a child has the most to fear from are those who are supposed to be protecting her. I agree with others that if this wasn't the perp's child, the child would have been reported as missing, unless the child was used as "payment" for drugs or some other illegal activity. There was an unfortunate case in the Carolinas a couple of years ago where a woman "sold" her elementary school children to her drug dealer, who sold them to a pedophile; they turned up dead, too. Rest in peace, little one. And mama or papa....I hope you never sleep another night in your life without hearing your child's screams.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. N Tyler

    Sick,sick for this to happen to a child things isn,t going to get no better it is pass sad.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Drowlord

    Chilling. Young girl having her fingers chopped off. Seems unlikely that there would be no leads. No missing children? No fingerprints? They have an obvious timeframe - no sudden moves at the apartment complex or nearby? Nobody leaving town without their children? They obviously have DNA.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Yes, real criminal investigation happens just like CSI. A case is investigated, criminal caught and prosecuted within an hour.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Where did you see the information that the fingers belonged to a girl?

      March 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ooah12

    Put that lady on the suspect list. No matter how drunk I am, 6 fingers will not look like ginger to me.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Everything in Moderation

      You haven't got a clue about what you could identify of (very very likely) desiccated body parts.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • t3chsupport

      no one said the fingers were fresh.
      Ever seen some shriveled, dead digits?
      They don't so much look like fingers any more.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. hishonor

    I would guess that the severed fingers were deposited in the trash bin by someone from another neighborhood, thereby throwing the authorities off the trail. It may have even been an accident that they were severed in the first place, but some kind of negligence was involved so they didn't want the responsibility of criminal charges for gross child neglect or endangerment.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Everything in Moderation

      Enh...if you can get to a different neighborhood, you can get to a vacant lot and bury the little things.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Mik

      what dream world do you live in exactly?

      March 13, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • ooah12

      @Everything in Moderation
      Are you from the islands? You must be a real estate agent with connectios...vacant lots on Oahu, please!

      March 13, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Like they just knew someone would be digging in that dumpster& & find them,,,,

      March 13, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. bobmc

    Kalihi is a rough side of Honolulu, sort of like East LA

    March 13, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      No kidding. It is rough.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Reason & Logic

    Is it possible that the fingers are medical waste and not what everyone is thinking?

    March 13, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Reason & Logic, really? There were found in a trash bin at a housing complex!

      March 13, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • LC

      Yes it's possible but not likely. Thirty years ago I worked for a pathology lab. We had several body parts which had been preserved in formaldehyde. In order to properly cremate them later they had to be air dried and were placed in a high-walled enclosure at the lab. Some one came onto the grounds snooping to see what was in the enclosure and immediately called the police claiming we were killing people! However, that being said, fingers would not be in a regular trash bin. If they'd been severed in an accident then that would be known and someone would step forward. The poor child is probably dead and the fingers were removed from the body (by someone who's watched too much CSI) to try to hide fingerprints- which wouldn't likely be in a national database anyway which mostly contains adult prints. May this little one rest in peace if she's dead and may swift justice be served.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • sadtale

      Medical waste in a ziplock baggie?? Come on!

      March 13, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. Blondie

    Methamphetamine is involved.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pam

    I hope they searched the land fill for the rest of the child.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. fridayet

    She recycles and gardens... LOL! BS.. she likes digging through trash, don't sugarcoat it. . Hope they find the little girl though.. sad 🙁

    March 13, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Steve


    March 13, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. poltergiest

    Its probably just cannibals. They gotta eat like gays gotta have anl stimulation

    March 13, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. ooah12

    @Everything in Moderation
    I know what ginger looks like and smell like. But you already probably knew that huh?

    March 13, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. Big Daddy

    Fingerprint all newborns and take DNA at birth. Problem solved.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      ding ding ding...we got a genius here...

      March 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      Because magically knowing who someone is solves where they are? Also- magically all the databases of all that information of all those children and their fingerprints will work well together and intergrate and never break down.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brickell Princess

    Religions are turning people into sick minded monsters. I am sure this was part of some religious ritual.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      What an odd conclusion to jump to...

      March 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
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