October 5, 2022

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The woman is a Korean-born New Zealander, who arrived in South Korea in 2018 and has no record of departure, Korean police told media on Monday.

The woman’s whereabouts, and whether she was accompanied by any other family on arriving in South Korea, were not immediately known.

Police launched a homicide investigation after the discovery of human remains at Moncrieff Avenue in Clendon Park.
Police launched a homicide investigation after the discovery of human remains at Moncrieff Avenue in Clendon Park. (David White / Stuff)
Neighbours of the property commented on the "wicked smell" coming from the Auckland home before police arrived.
Neighbours described seeing members of the family opening a suitcase, then standing back as if in shock. (Stuff)

According to the police officer, New Zealand Police have requested information on whether the person is in South Korea.

“New Zealand police had requested confirmation whether the person who might be related to a crime case was in South Korea,” the police officer told Reuters – adding that it was possible – given her address history and age – that she could be the mother of the children.

New Zealand Police authorities have asked South Korea’s National Police Agency, through Interpol, to help them find a woman related to the case, according to multiple Korean media reports.

Human remains discovered in goods acquired at a storage unit auction came from Safe Store Papatoetoe in Auckland.
Human remains discovered in goods acquired at a storage unit auction came from Safe Store Papatoetoe in Auckland. (James Halpin / Stuff)

New Zealand Police have been approached for comment.

South Korean police examined the woman’s immigration records and confirmed that she had entered South Korea in the second half of 2018, but said there was no record of her departure, suggesting she was still in the country.

The woman was a South Korean citizen but had acquired New Zealand citizenship, KBS, South Korea’s public broadcaster, reported on Monday.

“If the woman is clearly identified as a suspect and an arrest warrant is received, there is a high possibility of an Interpol red notice. We will then proceed with the extradition process,” an official from the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the National Police Agency told reporters in Seoul, according to the Hankyoreh newspaper.
A family member at the property involved said on Monday morning they were receiving victim support.
A family member at the property involved said on Monday morning they were receiving victim support. (David White / Stuff)

The woman is a Korean-New Zealander who obtained New Zealand citizenship after giving up her Korean citizenship, according to the JTBC TV channel. She is known to have a long-term residence at the address associated with the bag in question, the channel reported.

Because the woman is not a South Korean citizen, police there need a legal reason, such as a New Zealand court warrant, before they can determine her exact residence. For this reason, South Korean police has asked their New Zealand counterparts to supply further documentation, the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper reported.

The two children, who were aged between 5 and 10, died “a number of years” before their remains were discovered on August 11, New Zealand police said last week.

The remains were discovered after a Clendon Park family bought the contents of the locker at an auction. The family transported the goods, including the suitcases, home on a trailer before unpacking them.

Police and forensics teams descended on the home soon after.

It is not known if the children were enrolled in school before they died.

Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua explained on August 18 that a full post-mortem examination was yet to take place and DNA testing would be carried out on the remains.

This story first appeared on Stuff and is republished here with permission.

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