HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Frozen human body parts found in a Sand Island storage facility this week were donated to a scientific and medical research facility and were intended for educational purposes, according to a news release from Hawaii Institute of Anatomy.
The cadavers were reported to be under investigated by police.
The frozen bodies were in the possession of the Hawaii Institute of Anatomy, and were fully documented as donations from individuals who contributed them to research and education, the institute said.
"This is a very unfortunate situation," said Bryan Avery, director and CEO of the institute. "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.
"We know that these kinds of research and education require the utmost in discretion. However, it is important work for our community."
Avery does not know why a land agent entered the facility, or why police were notified.
"The land owner knew we were there, and knew that the freezer was used to hold these tissues," said Avery. "We fully document every donation we receive and could have easily provided police with whatever information they required."
Officials of the institute will meet with the medical examiner on Monday to provide documentation and arrange the release of cadavers intended for use in scientific and medical education.
The medical specimens were removed from an HIA facility after a property manager entered the property and called police.
The Hawaii Institute of Anatomy is licensed by the state as a funeral establishment. The Hawaii Department of Health knows of the Institute's work and of its use of these tissues in research and education.