New Zealand Police have launched a homicide investigation after the remains of two children were found in suitcases bought by a family at an online auction, police said Thursday.
A ReportPolice said they were alerted to the case last week when a family from the south Auckland suburb of Manurewa reported human body parts among several items bought from a warehouse.
The family has not been linked to the children’s deaths and are “understandably distressed,” police said.
The children – believed to be between 5 and 10 years old – may have been dead for three or four years, Detective Inspector Tofilau Famanuya Walua told a news conference on Thursday.
Waluwa said a post-mortem examination is being conducted to ascertain the identity of the children. Investigators are also looking for clues as to how, when and where the children died.
Waielua said police were working with Interpol and had opened inquiries with foreign agencies, but initial inquiries indicated the victims’ relatives were in New Zealand.
“I really feel for the victims or the family of these victims. And, you know, here, right now, there are relatives out there who don’t know that their loved ones are dead,” he added.
He said the case was “very sad news for the community to hear”.
Police are trying to look at closed-circuit television footage that might provide some clues, although they admit it will be difficult to get because a significant amount of time has passed.
The storage company is assisting with police investigations, and other household and personal items sold from the storage facility are being examined to establish a link to the suitcases, police said.