A woman who is believed to be related to two children whose remains were found in suitcases in New Zealand is in South Korea, Seoul police told AFP Monday. Last week, New Zealand police said they had discovered the remains of two children, who are thought to have been between five and 10 years old when they died, in suitcases.
The bodies were discovered after an unsuspecting family bought a trailer-load of items — including the suitcases — at an auction for abandoned goods.
New Zealand police have said the bodies were likely to have been in storage for several years, which has complicated the investigation into the crime.
Police said Monday that a woman of Korean descent, who is believed to be related to the children, is currently in South Korea.
“We confirm that she is in South Korea, and that she is a New Zealand national of Korean descent,” an official at the Korean National Police Agency told AFP.
She arrived in the South in 2018 and had no record of leaving the country since that year, he added. “New Zealand police are leading this investigation and we intend to cooperate at their request,” the official added.
Police have been checking hours of CCTV footage, but key moments could have already been erased due to the delay between when the victims died and the discovery of the bodies.
Both the storage unit and property where the suitcases were taken have been thoroughly examined by forensic experts.
Authorities in New Zealand reiterated last week that the family who found the bodies were not connected to the homicide.
They are receiving support to help deal with the trauma, the country’s Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua said at the time.