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Institute claims human remains after police arrive to investigate

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Two sets of human remains found in a Sand Island freezer are documented research cadavers that had been in the possession of the Hawaii Institute of Anatomy, the institute said yesterday.

Police said the business office was vacated and that a rental agent went inside Thursday and found the remains in a freezer and notified police.

Bryan Avery, director and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Institute of Anatomy, said the institute and the landlord are negotiating over the property, which remains part of the institute. He said he didn’t know why police called the office vacant.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office took the remains, possibly of a man and a woman, from the building, police said.

"This is a very unfortunate situation," Avery said in a statement. "We are committed to our mission of assisting the medical and scientific communities. We are also deeply respectful of the wishes of these donors and want to help fulfill their final wish to help others through their very personal gifts."

The institute provides cadavers for educating health care practitioners, such as chiropractors, massage therapists and physical therapists. The cadavers were fully documented as donations from individuals who contributed them for research and educational purposes, the institute said.

Avery said he did not know why the agent went into the facility.

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