On February 2, 2012, Gina Rose Vendegna was going through some trash bins near Kukui Gardens in Kalihi where she lived.
“I look for bottles and cans to recycle and I give them away to the old people,” she told KHON2 back in 2012.
She said she found a few recyclables, but that’s not all.
“I saw a plastic Ziploc bag which I thought were ginger root, starting to dry out,” said Vendegna. “I’m a gardener, and I recycle and I thought I’d be able restore them. So I threw them in my purse.”
Later that day, she took the bag out of her purse.
“I was drinking a soda and I [gagged], I knew for a fact those were fingers when I seen the fingernails,” she said. “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.”
Forensic testing showed the fingers belonged to a child between two and five years old.
The child’s gender and ethnicity could not be determined.
“All the info that was brought in was cross-checked with Missing Persons and everything, and it came out to nothing,” said Sgt. Kim Buffett, who was the head of Honolulu CrimeStoppers at the time. “So we’re really, heavily, relying on the public out there, because someone has to know something, because it’s not normal to find fingers in a dumpster.”
To this day, Honolulu police tell us they’ve never determined who the fingers belonged to or how they got there.
So, for now, the case remains unsolved.