Skeletal Remains Found at Public Park

David Dawson came upon the human remains while with friends at Sand Island Park.
David Dawson came upon the human remains while with friends at Sand Island Park.

SAND ISLAND (KHNL) - Honolulu police are trying to solve a mystery following the discovery of skeletal remains at Sand Island. Homicide detectives went out to the area Monday morning, after a man made the grisly discovery.

Police think they know who the man is. But they're waiting for the medical examiner to make a positive I.D., and figure out how he died.

David Dawson came to the shoreline to look for his friends, but made a shocking discovery instead. In the middle of a grassy area, a tarp was hanging from a tree.

"I just, just pushed the canvas on the side," Dawson said. "That's when I seen two nice looking feet, nice and decomposed out, falling apart, bones."

He didn't have a chance to see much else.

"I just ran off, you know, as soon as I seen the two legs and stuff like that," he said. "But the smell was like really, really bad, big time."

Police say it's a man's body, and it looks like he was living here. Officers also saw a rope hanging from the tree, so they haven't ruled out suicide. Dawson says many homeless people camp out along these waters.

"There was other campsites. They had stone, you know, stone walls and stuff like that," Dawson said. "But as far as like, this was just one separate one by itself."

The medical examiner at the scene told homicide investigators the remains may have been at the location for more than a year.

"I think the body needs to go back to the rightful family," Dawson said.

The medical examiner's office says it may have to use dental records to make the I.D. because of the condition of the body.