On August 11, a family from Auckland, in northern New Zealand, reported finding human remains in two suitcases they bought at an online auction, along with other items kept in an abandoned box at a city warehouse . New Zealand Police said Thursday the remains belong to two children who may have been between five and 10 years old at the time of death. An investigation is ongoing to identify the bodies and a murder investigation has been launched.
The case is widely talked about in New Zealand newspapers, but the story has also been picked up abroad.
Auckland Police examined both the box containing the auctioned items and the home of the family who bought them all together and ruled out her involvement in the children’s deaths. As Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua, who is following the case, explained in a press conference, the investigation is quite complicated, “especially considering the time that elapsed between the moment of death and the discovery” of the bodies.
Based on initial analysis, it appears the children are long dead and their bodies were kept in suitcases in the playpen for at least three to four years, Vaaelua said. In addition to DNA tests, the other items in the box are currently being analyzed in order to obtain details about the children’s parents and to reconstruct the circumstances of their deaths.
The police are also analyzing the CCTV footage of the depot, but it’s likely nothing useful will come out as the box has been abandoned for some time and the images are deleted after a period of time.
Vaaelua did not say whether the police had contacted the owner to whom the box was registered, but said the investigation is progressing thanks to the help of the company that manages the warehouse. He added that the New Zealand police are working with Interpol, the international organization for criminal investigation: according to the first reconstructions, however, the relatives of the dead children are said to be in New Zealand.
– Also read: Australia is investigating the deaths of two Saudi sisters