It has been confirmed that the human remains found in suitcases bought from a storage unit as part of an auction for abandoned goods, are those of two young children.
NZ Police Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua told NZ media that post mortem examinations have found the children to have been between five and ten-years-old.
“They may also have been inside the suitcases for between three and four years”.
The bodies, one in each of two suitcases of similar size were bought by an unsuspecting family from Manurewa in an online auction on August 11th.
The family took the unit’s contents home in a trailer and called authorities on Thursday night when they made the shocking discovery human remains were inside.
The family who bought the items from the storage unit are not involved in any way.
The family had bid on the contents of the storage locker online, a common practice for storage sheds with unpaid rent which has even turned into a popular US reality TV show, Storage Wars.
Buyers are not allowed to rifle through the contents in depth before the auction and only when the family began looking through what they’d purchased back at their home did they make the chilling discovery.
Detective Inspector Tofilau said CCTV would be analysed but added it would be a challenge given the length of time the bodies were stored for.
Tofilau said he understood the update on the incident was ‘deeply upsetting’ to the community.
‘We’re still on a fact finding mission and we still have a lot of unanswered questions,’ he told reporters on Thursday afternoon.
“This is no easy investigation,” Vaaelua said, “horrific cases like this are difficult for homicide investigators, especially those who were parents themselves”.
He declined to answer several questions from media, saying the investigation may otherwise be compromised.
Relatives of the victims “were in New Zealand”, he said.
Household and personal items were also found with the suitcases.
A trailer which carried the suitcases also had ‘prams, toys, and a walker’ in the back, a neighbour of the property in Clendon Park told the New Zealand Herald.
‘I feel sorry for the family because they’ve got nothing to do with it,’ one neighbour, Shelton Honana, told Newshub.
‘Whoever did do it … front up. It’s a bit unfair, bro. It’s horrific, f***ing scary,’ he added.
Witnesses reported seeing three different hearses outside the house last Thursday night after authorities were called in by the shaken buyers.
The large hire trailer used to transport the haul was also taken from the house by investigators.
Counselling is being offered to the family while a large blue tent was set up at the property.