HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - AIEA, Oahu (Hawaii News Now) - Honolulu Police are investigating a tragic case in Aiea. A fetus was found in a garbage can at Napuanani Park.
A man collecting recyclables was out here last night and did not see anything unusual. Then he was back out here at just after 7:00 this morning and made the discovery right near the playground.
"The box was not there last night," said Rick Sanford, as he showed us the spot where he made the discovery.
Rick Sanford was searching for recyclables like he does multiple times a day when he saw a file drawer with a lid in the garbage can.
"I looked down and I pulled the box out and set it down," said Sanford.
He says his dog started going nuts so he took the box to his home across the street. The dog was still going crazy so he put it high on the can and opened the drawer. He saw an undeveloped baby boy.
"I've seen a lot but you never want to see a baby," said Sanford, who says he was a medic in the Vietnam War. "It was at least second or close to third trimester."
"He was in such a shock. He said it has to be taken care of properly. So he brought it back to his garage," said Carol, neighbor.
He thinks it was late term and had scrapes on the side.
Sanford says the drawer was painted white and had blue writing on it with "love" "forget me not" and "forever" on it. The fetus was also carefully wrapped.
"Somebody took a lot of care because they put about 10 - 15 folded real nice paper towels underneath and 2 or 3 on top of the infant," said Sanford.
The neighborhood is on a side street near the top of Aiea Heights. It is not a high traffic street. One resident did hear what sounded like a couple arguing at the park at about 4:00 this morning but eventually they drove off.
"In our neighborhood here when you hear some yelling early in the morning there has to be something happening because there is nothing up here," said Lito Macabulos, neighbor.
The discovery has many people asking the same thing.
"Why would somebody do some stuff like that?" said Macabulos.
Hawaii does have a safe haven law where a woman can bring an unharmed baby, up to three days old to a hospital, fire station or police station, without being subject to persecution. From what neighbors say it may not have made a difference in this case.
"It didn't develop fully. I think it's sort of like an abortion they did to get rid of the baby," said Carol, neighbor.
At this point it's tough to tell if there was a crime committed. A lot will hinge on the medical examiners report to see if the baby was still born or if it was alive and then killed.
Police are investigating. They haven't heard of any reports of a woman going to a hospital for child birth complications but without the baby.