Vandals break into mausoleum, scatter bones at cemetery

Vandals break into mausoleum, scatter bones at cemetery
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Because there is no regular maintenance or security at Sunset Memorial Park it's unclear exactly when it happened — or why.

But sometime over the past week, vandals broke into a tomb, ripping someone's remains from what was supposed to be their final resting place.

Peter Fernando and other volunteers were cutting grass in the area over the weekend when they made the gruesome discovery.

"This is sick," he said. "What person in their mind would do something like this?"

An empty cement box was found inside one of the tombs and a pile of bones and bone fragments were dumped in another tomb nearby.

"Then on that side we found pieces. One rib and part of the spine," Fernando said.

This is the latest in a string of issues involving vandalism and homelessness at the cemetery.

For years, the cemetery has been plagued with problems after it's owner ran out of money. Because of the lack of maintenance, many tombs are open and unmarked.

"The thing now is we don't know which cubbyhole the remains came out of," Fernando said.

Although police along with the Department of Land and Natural Resources came out to investigate, Fernando questions whether anyone made an effort to determine the identity of the remains.

"There's this person who is supposed to be in charge of this place. He came back to assist on the rest of the job. Put the remains back in the box. Put it back in there and sealed it up," he said.

Hawaii News Now tried to contact that man, Rev. Lago Dozinn, to see if the decedent's family has been notified about what happened.

Those phone calls were not returned.

As word of the desecrated tomb began to spread, people with family members buried at Sunset Memorial renewed pleas for government help.

"If the state or the city would get involved I'm pretty sure this place will come back to how beautiful it was before," said Lui Moefu.

"This shouldn't be happening," added Fernando. "I wish somebody from the Senate or anybody would come out here and do something about this."

Police confirmed an investigation has been opened. They've classified it as a desecration.

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