Archaeologists have documented 887 of the massive statues, known as moai, but there may up as many as 1,000 of them on the island (see Rather Weighty Easter Island Sculpture Travels 200 Miles To Be Star of Manchester Museum Exhibition). Most were carved from volcanic rock between 1100 and 1680.
While the island is a popular tourist destination, the statue's sheer size certainly discourages the type of theft experienced at other historic archaeological sites (see US Tourists Steal Pompeii Artifact and Egypt's "Indiana Jones" Zahi Hawass Questioned Over Pyramid Theft).
The Easter Island bodies were news to us, but apparently this is not a recent discovery. Photographs of the statues undergoing excavation began circulating in May of 2012, according to Snopes, and Live Science asserts that archaeologists have actually known about the bodies since archaeological research on the island, located 2,000 miles west of Chile, began over a century ago, in 1914.