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. High Hopes

    She found the fingers, but there could have been more. Look at the case on Kong Island. Body parts strewn over a large area. I'm with Pablo, there's no girl walking around with missing fingers... a whole child is missing and I don't think she lived anywhere near that housing project.

    God Bless the Children!

    March 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Benjamin

    That kid should have never asked Michelle 'bush ape" Obama about the government control of our diet.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I don't know what's more disturbing, this story, or what you wrote in response. Get some help.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      You know racism is really ugly and the sign of an undeveloped mind. Get some help.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristian J

      You are a sad soul indeed.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Rousch

      You're nothing but a sick racist.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Saboth

      I'd assume you are trolling, but I don't think you are smart enough.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Its not racist... GWB looked like an Ape... Michelle Obama certainly does too. Some people look more like other primates than others. C'est la vie.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arney


      March 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • beelzabarber

      and to think that the "Bush Ape" is still infinitely smarter than you. That must just eat you up when you are at work, trying to fix the slurpee machine

      March 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz

      Benjamin you should get some mental health care you are lacking in basic humanity.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vic Pedersen

      Benjamin ,

      Our sister company, Doosheliquor sells products that may take that lingering odor or bad taste from your breathe.

      Remember, she's the first lady and by default deserved our respect.

      Remember Doosheliquor goes with everything.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vic Pedersen


      By the angry tone of your voice, you sound like a frequent customer of our primary company ShlongaGadola. As I am sure you're aware, ShlongaGadola uses top grade tubular meat that is satisfying to someone of your discerning taste. I'm sure you've had one of our Huge Shlongs against your pallette before and will again. You should try our Shlongie suppository too.



      March 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • MindUrWords

      consider this Ben... many male slave owners slept with slaves which means, you could be a decendant of someone Black. You racist idiot!

      March 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Six-finger discount

    Did the cops think to finger print the digits to identify the person?

    March 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      Yes, because I'm sure the 8 year old girl is on file for all her childhood felonies...

      March 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      There isn't a big likelihood of the child ever having been fingerprinted.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Rousch

      Cops are that bright.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      @ Andy

      She was a baby... 2 1/2 to 4 years old.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Readit

      Finger print the fingers to match them to the child's fing.....wait...

      March 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      8 year old?
      it is really disturbing how so many people either dont read an article or are at a 2½ to 4 years old comprehension level
      the fingers were determined be from a girl aged at "2½ to 4 years old"

      March 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • gale

      At Andy and Susan All of my kids have been fingerprinted by me and kept in a file. Our school and Boy Scouts provide free fingerprinting kits. Most insurance companies do too. It is a good idea to fingerprint your children just in case they are ever needed for any reason.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      I thought all babies are finger printed and then foot print also. I don't know when they're newborns if those fingerprints are fully developed or what however.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fooki

      You people do realize that lots of kids are fingerprinted for safety reasons and you can get kits from lots of companies right? Gerber the baby food company for one...

      March 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ohplease

      Lots of people have their children fingerprinted these days and keep the records on file in the home... Sadly this case is an example of the reason. I think the OP asked a good question.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • notthathard

      Lets assume the parents got a fingerprint kit for this child and are keeping them on file at home. How exactly will that help the POLICE find the child? No one has reported that their child is missing 6 fingers which STRONGLY indicates the caregivers are involved, the same caregivers/parents who may or may not have fingerprints on file. Again, how would this help the police AT ALL?? Think people, think.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ohplease

      @notthathard DNA.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • notthathard

      Lol-so you think there is DNA on file to match to the found digits? That is more of a unlikely than getting a match to fingerprints. Keep thinking, its good practice.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fiona

    My previous post was evidently not accepted, so here is the short version. The fingers must have been dried and preserved, or the dumpster diver would never have come up with the ginger story. I suspect they were used in a ritual, then discarded when no longer deemed useful. They could have been purchased for that use, and would not necessarily have come from a local child. Body parts of children are sold, for instance, in Africa for "medicine" and ritual use.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      (should be "parts of Africa")

      March 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • will

      I could believe the giner story, I have a few ginger plants at home. Fresh live ginger isnt shrivled looking but almost finger like. Ive never seen a ginger root small enough to look like a childs finger though. What are the odds someone would even find them and what are the odds its happened wiuthout someone finding them.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arney

      more appropriately "canabal land"

      March 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Craig

    I said Chicken Fingers NOT children's fingers you idiot!! But seriously, so sad. Who would do such a thing?!

    March 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Really?

    Some of these comments reiterate just how much human trash we are surrounded by on a daily basis, without even knowing. SMH.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. High Hopes


    Just cause the fingers were black doesn't
    mean they came from Africa!

    Honolulu has a sadistic child killer
    in their midst. Maybe from Hong
    Kong, imo.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      I need to hear your reasoning why you think the killer would be from Hong Kong.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocky Mtn Gal

      Why did you come up with Hong Kong, for heaven sake? My guess is somebody finally abused the child to the point of death, and then before disposing of the body cut the fingers off thinking it would make it harder to identify a body when/if found.
      Unfortunately, due to the fact that many many children in Hawaii are raised by grandparents, aunts & uncles, etc., it makes it more difficult for neighbors & schools to pinpoint if a child goes missing. The story is always "eh, she go to live with her aunty" and nobody really thinks twice about it. (Yes, I lived there & saw how kids got shifted around sometimes.)

      March 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      If she were dead, why not cut off all her fingers or easier,
      yet, both hands? If she were local SOMEONE would've misses
      her, by now. Unfortunately, there are a lot
      of baby girls sold in Hong Kong and Hawaii
      is frequented by the Chinese all the time.

      Just a guess...

      March 14, 2012 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. Saboth

    "Police said Vendegna was not a suspect." Gee..you think?

    March 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. P. Edmonds

    Haven't figured out how yet, but this is undoubtedly related to the ongoing Obama eligibiliy investigation. Shouldn't be hard to figure this mystery out though, just go house to house looking for a young girl between the ages of 2-1/2 and 4 that has only four fingers.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Oh, yeah, DEFINETELY related to Obama.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BH

    There must be some important details missing in this story. Something is really fishy here. Too many odd facts. They are probably the fingers of a missing child. The mob used to do this sort of thing to prevent identification of a dead body, didn't they? It's pretty sad.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rhonda

    They need to search every house in the complex. Remember Jaycee Duggar....

    March 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    You lurking hoping for a date?

    March 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Julie

    Nothing to see here Folks....just Sharia Law doing it's thing. Father probably caught the child picking it's nose !
    "Off with the Fingers...that will teach you !"

    March 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank

    They won't be a mystery when they run fingerprints and a DNA test.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Honolulu Wahine

    Some of the comments on here are exactly the reaon CNN needs to just totally do away with the comment sections.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy


      March 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Q

      I like what USA Today did. They liked it to Facebook accounts. It did away with about 90% of the garbage that people post when they think they're anonymous.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
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