The remains of two primary school-age children were found in suitcases bought at auction at a warehouse in Auckland, New Zealand police confirmed on Thursday. According to Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua, the bodies had probably been kept for several years and the victims would be between five and ten years old. The bodies lay in two suitcases of identical size, he said.
The family “naturally upset by the discovery”
“The nature of the discovery makes the investigation complex, due in particular to the time that elapsed between death and discovery,” added Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua. It took, for this macabre discovery, that a family buys a trailer loaded with objects sold in bulk in a warehouse. The family in question is not linked to the death, but is “understandably shocked by the discovery” and has asked for their privacy to be respected, insisted Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua. She was able to receive help to cope with this trauma.
The police are looking at the other objects, household or personal, contained in the trailer to identify the victims. She also reviews hours of surveillance video, but key moments may have been erased due to the long delay between death and the discovery of the bodies. For this same reason, the autopsy encounters difficulties in identifying the children, explained Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua.
Local police appeal to Interpol
The warehouse and the property where the suitcases were taken were thoroughly examined by the scientific police. New Zealand police have appealed to the international agency Interpol, even though they believe their relatives are in the country. Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua expressed his sympathy for the family of the children, who may not have known they were dead. “It’s not an easy investigation,” admitted the inspector.
“No matter how long or how many years you’ve been working and investigating horrible cases, it’s never easy.” “What I can say is that we are making great progress in the DNA investigation,” he added. “The investigation team is working very hard to hold the person or persons responsible for the deaths of these children to account.” A neighbor of the family who made the discovery told the New Zealand Herald that he was looking after their home as they had left Auckland to escape media attention.