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, 2¬Ĺ 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.