Urns stolen from Pearl City cemetery recovered at recycling center

A new development in a family’s heartbreaking loss.

On Sunday, the Nagamine family discovered four urns had been stolen from their grave site plot at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery in Pearl City.

They contained the remains of the family’s grandmother, grandfather, aunt and uncle.

Then on Monday afternoon, three of the four urns were found at Reynolds Recycling on Sand Island.

After filing a police report Sunday, the Nagamine family did their own detective work to find their loved ones’ remains. They sent a picture of the urns to a friend, who works at Reynolds Recycling.

The employee recalled seeing a man bring in the urns to the Reynolds Recycling in Pearl City. The thief cashed in the urns for $31.

All recycled materials are transferred to the company’s main distribution center on Sand Island, where officials found the missing bronze urns atop a pile of brass materials.

Unfortunately, the urns were empty. Their discovery was a bittersweet moment for Clyde Nagamine.

“The main thing is gone, but it’s a better feeling than yesterday,” he said.

Reynolds Recycling president Terry Telfer says urns are generally not allowed to be sold.

“It could have been an employee who made that mistake and didn’t realize it. In this situation, I’m glad we were able to retrieve it and contact rightful owner,” said Telfer.

Telfer says they have measures in place in case anyone brings in suspicious material.

“We usually tell them we don’t accept them. At that point, they leave. Sometimes we take their license number as they drive away,” said Telfer.

Noting the weight of each bronze urn, Telfer suspects the thief tried to camouflage the urns.

“He must have come back with some other stuff, because we looked back at the records and we couldn’t figure it out. They must have had this and other stuff camouflaged.”

Still, Nagamine is grateful to Reynolds Recycling for the quick recovery.

The company also found one unmarked urn that the family isn’t sure belongs to their grandfather, and said police told the family 10 other grave sites were tampered with as well.

“For the other people that are missing it, I hope they can check now. Maybe they might recover something too,” Nagamine said.

For their part, Reynolds Recycling will be on the lookout. “Absolutely,” said Telfer.

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