Grim new details emerge as suitcases containing the bodies of children, 5 and 10, were moved into storage unit auction just a year before their discovery
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More grisly details emerge in the gruesome case of child remains found in suitcases that spent four years in storage units in New Zealand. The remains of a boy and girl, ages five and ten, were only discovered after the contents of a unit were auctioned online earlier this year to a family, who opened the suitcases at their home in August. The suitcases have been revealed to have been moved between storage units at the SafeStore Papatoetoe facility (pictured) in Auckland in the second half of 2021, but staff had no reason to suspect anything was wrong.
Although the unit had dead flies and rats, there was evidence of what the two small suitcases contained, a source at the storage facility told NZ news website Stuff. The facility made no official comment, other than that they cooperated with the police investigation. Police say they have identified the children, but have received a suppression order not to release their names. The case made headlines around the world with the help of Interpol.
At the request of the New Zealand police, a 42-year-old woman (pictured in the middle) has been arrested who is said to have been hiding in an apartment in the South Korean city of Ulsan. South Korean police said the woman, a Korean-born New Zealander, was charged with murdering the two children in the suitcases. “She arrived in South Korea after the crime and has been in hiding ever since,” the statement said. While in transit to a cell in Seoul, where she will undergo extradition proceedings to New Zealand, the woman told reporters, “I didn’t do it.”
In August, it was announced that the father of the children in New Zealand died of cancer, a year before his wife left for Korea in 2018. Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua said in August that the coroner was at the request of their family, the NZ Herald reported. “This order suppresses the names of the children and their relatives and any evidence that could lead to the identification of the two victims,” he said. “The police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the children’s deaths.”
Her whereabouts and whether she had other relatives with her when she arrived in the country were not immediately known. “New Zealand police had asked for confirmation as to whether the person possibly related to a crime case was in South Korea,” the police officer said, adding that given her previous address and age, she could be the children’s mother . New Zealand police launched a murder investigation in Auckland after the children’s remains were found by a family who searched the contents of a storage cupboard they had bought undetected. The family that found the bodies was not involved with the dead.
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