New Zealand police launched a homicide investigation after the remains of two children were found in suitcases bought by a family at an online auction, police said on Thursday.
In a statement, police said they were alerted to the case last week when the family in the southern Auckland suburb of Manurewa reported finding human body parts in various items they purchased at a storage facility.
The family is not linked to the children’s deaths, police said, and they are “understandably distressed”.
The children – probably between 5 and 10 years old – could have been dead for several years, maybe three or four, Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua told a news conference.
A post-mortem examination is being carried out to try to determine the children’s identity, Vaaelua said. Investigators are also looking for clues about how, when and where the children died.
Vaaelua said police are working with Interpol and have opened investigations with foreign agencies, but initial investigations suggest the victims’ relatives are in New Zealand.
“I really feel for the victims or the families of these victims. And, you know, here, right now, there are relatives out there who don’t know their loved ones have died,” he added.
The case was “extremely disturbing news for the community to hear,” he said.
Police are trying to view closed-circuit television footage that may offer some clues, although they recognize that it can be difficult to obtain due to the significant time that has elapsed.
The storage company is assisting police in their investigation, and other household and personal items sold at the storage facility are being examined to establish a link to the bags, police said.
Source: CNN Brasil