The Honolulu Police Department’s call for help to determine how an unknown child’s severed fingers ended up in a Liliha dumpster generated media attention across the country but only two calls to CrimeStoppers on Tuesday.
Homicide detectives in the Criminal Investigations Division are checking the leads that were called in, but there were no other developments on the day after police made the public appeal for information, said Sgt. Kim Buffett, head of the police CrimeStoppers program.
The six fingers were found Feb. 2 in a zip-close bag in a trash bin on the grounds of Kukui Gardens, a series of walk-up apartments that borders Chinatown. A woman looking for recyclable materials made the discovery.
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, conducted tests on the fingers, said Army Maj. Jamie Gordon, JPAC public affairs officer. She referred other questions to police.
The test could not determine how long ago the fingers were severed, Buffett said.
Sources said they are believed to be that of a girl between 21⁄2 and 4 years old.
A source who saw the bones said at first glance they did not appear to be human, did not seem to be flesh-colored and were decomposing but not dried out.
Detectives first believed the remains were that of an animal, possibly a monkey, and may have been kept around for medicinal purposes, sources said.
Police said they have received no reports of a child being maimed in this way.
ABC News, Fox News, CNN, The Washington Post and MSNBC were among news organizations that posted stories on the gruesome finding on their websites.
Carol Anzai, former president of the now-defunct Kukui Gardens Residents Association, said the mystery has been the buzz among her neighbors since Monday when it was made public.
"They’re worried. They want to know what’s happening," Anzai said. "We don’t know if (the fingers) are from here or outside, so they’re really scared for their own children, and who’s around."
The complex has maintained a neighborhood watch program for a number of years. About 10 people walk around the complex once a week, said Anzai, who has lived at Kukui Gardens for more than 35 years.
Crime has not been a problem in recent years, Anzai said — "just kids grabbing bags and stuff."