Bodies found in suitcases bought at auction were of 2 young children and had been rotting in them for YEARS
On August 11, a family from Manurewa in Auckland bid in an auction and won the storage unit's contents before eventually discovering human remains inside the suitcases
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND ― Authorities revealed how the bodies of two young children, found stuffed inside suitcases sold at a storage unit auction, were likely there for years.
On August 11, a family from Manurewa in Auckland bid in an auction and won the storage unit's contents before eventually discovering human remains inside. New Zealand Police Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua revealed on Thursday, August 18, that they believe the remains of the children, who were between five and ten years old, may have been inside the suitcases for three to four years. Both suitcases were of similar size, Vaaelua said, adding that the family who purchased the items from the storage unit is not involved in any way.
The Kiwi family had reportedly bid on the contents of the storage locker online — a common practice to recover cash from storage sheds with unpaid rent. The concept was even the inspiration for the popular US reality TV show, 'Storage Wars.' Interested parties are usually not allowed to rifle through the contents in depth before the auction and must place their bids blindly. Buyers are only allowed to look through the contents of the unit if they win the auction. In this case, the family in question made the chilling discovery only after bringing the suitcases abandoned in the unit back home.
New Zealand police have revealed human remains that were found in old suitcases were those of 2 children. The pair were aged between 5 and 10, and may have been dead 3 or 4 years. https://t.co/3mesg7z0li #Auckland #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/KkY2LbBF69— 7NEWS Australia (@7NewsAustralia) August 18, 2022
Authorities are currently scouring through CCTV footage, but Vaaelua admitted the case was going to be a challenge considering the length of time the bodies were stored in the suitcases. He confirmed that the victims' relatives were living in New Zealand. However, the children are yet to be formally identified. The inspector said he understood 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," Vaaelua told reporters at a press conference Thursday afternoon, adding, "I really feel for the family of these victims, there are relatives out there that aren't aware that their loved ones are deceased, especially two young children." He said the investigation had been challenging for the police involved owing to the young age of the victims. The suitcases reportedly also contained household and personal items.
New Zealand police are working with the international criminal police agency Interpol and a homicide investigation is underway. A neighbor of the Clendon Park property told the New Zealand Herald how the trailer that carried the suitcases also had "prams, toys, and a walker" in the back. "I feel sorry for the family because they've got nothing to do with it," another neighbor, Shelton Honana, told Newshub. "Whoever did do it ... front up. It's a bit unfair, bro. It's horrific, f***ing scary." Nearby witnesses reported spotting three different hearses outside the house on the night of August 11, after the devastated family had called in the authorities. Investigators also seized the large hire trailer used to transport the haul to the house. A large blue tent was set up at the property and the family has been offered counseling after their traumatic discovery.