35 more displaced urns found in the bushes of a neglected Pearl City cemetery
PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Volunteers made another disturbing discovery at a neglected graveyard in Pearl City.
Over the weekend, the clean-up crew at Sunset Memorial Park found 35 urns — majority sitting in the bushes surrounding homeless campers squatting on the property.
Some urns contained ashes, but most were empty.
"What we did was trim down this whole section. As we were pulling out the rubbish we came across these urn boxes," said volunteer Peter Fernando.
As Fernando showed us the spot where he unearthed dozens of urns we noticed what looked like another one lodged beneath a bush.
"Oh yea that is one," said Fernando.
The cemetery's owner ran out of money nearly a decade ago but state officials say they can't do much because it's private property. Volunteers are tired of excuses.
"We keep hearing the politicians are going to help us. That they're going to come down and talk to us. No ones ever shown up, said volunteer Martha Shim. "What's it going to take for someone to just come out here and help us?"
Fernando says over the past month volunteers have found vandalized human remains during multiple cleanups.
On Dec. 17 bones were found scattered throughout the mausoleum. Three weeks later on Jan. 7, an urn was discovered between a couple headstones. Then on Jan. 12, Fernando's disturbing find.
Only five of the 35 newly discovered urns contained ashes. One was on the ground in front of the dumpster.
"There were no ashes. Just the bag and the empty box without a cover," said Fernando.
"These are people's loved ones. It's really upsetting," said Shim. "If it was my loved one I would be really mad and I'd want answers."
A homeless man camping right next to the urns told HNN he'd never seen them. The graveyard's owner didn't return our calls. But volunteers who spoke with him over the weekend said he wasn't too concerned.
"All he said was just leave it there. It will be fine," said Shim.
Meantime Shim is trying to reunite the five urns that do have names on them with their rightful owners.
Click here to access a Facebook page that may help reunite the families with the urns belonging to the following names:
Nov. 12, 1913 - April 5, 1984
Oct. 27, 1895 - March 16, 1972
Aug. 18, 1911 - Jan. 1, 1985
(Written in permanent marker)
The Pearl City neighborhood board will be discussing the issues at a meeting on Friday Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Lehua elementary school.
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