Bodies of two young children found in suitcases won by New Zealand family at storage unit auction

Authorities are trying to identify the bodies of two young children found in a suitcase in New Zealand as Debi Edward reports.

Police say remains discovered in suitcases in a storage locker in New Zealand belonged to two children, and had been concealed for a number of years.

The children, who were aged between 5 and 10 years old, had been dead for several years, and the suitcases had been in storage for at least three or four years, Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua said.

"From the postmortem examination it would appear they were of primary school age. Their bodies were concealed in two suitcases of similar size."

He said the investigation was in its early stages but would be rigorous. “This includes establishing where, when and how," the New Zealand Police detective told journalists in Auckland.

The family had purchased the personal and household items in an online auction and hauled them home last week.

Investigators work at a scene in Auckland, New Zealand. Credit: New Zealand Herald/ Associated Press

DI Vaaelua emphasized they had nothing to do with the deaths and had been understandably distressed by their discovery.

Police first set up a crime scene at the Auckland home last week and opened a homicide investigation on 12 August, but had declined to go into the details of the case until Thursday 13 August.

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DI Vaaelua said identification procedures for the children were ongoing but that they have relatives living in New Zealand.

He also said police had contacted Interpol and overseas policing agencies — a possible indication police might believe the suspect or suspects are now living abroad.

“The investigation team is working very hard to hold accountable the person or persons responsible for the deaths of these children,” DI Vaaelua said.

He said it was a difficult case for the investigative team.

"Today's update will be extremely upsetting for the community to hear."

“No matter how many years you serve and investigate horrific cases like this, it’s never an easy task,” he said. “I myself am a parent of young kids. But we have a job to do.”