South Korea link suspected due to New Zealand suitcase bodies

Police in Seoul believe possible relatives of two children whose bodies were found in suitcases in New Zealand last week may be in South Korea.

Immigration records show that the unidentified woman in her 40s arrived in South Korea in 2018, but there is no record of her leaving since then, according to Park Seung-hoon, an official at the National Police Agency in Seoul.

The children’s remains were found last week in Auckland after a New Zealand family bought the suitcases from an online auction of abandoned goods.

The children were between five and 10 years old and had been dead for several years, and the suitcases had been kept in storage for at least three or four years, said Detective Inspector Tofilau Famanuia Vaaelua.

Bodies were found in suitcases in Auckland after a family bought some abandoned products from a storage unit at an online auction (New Zealand Herald via AP)

Mr Park said South Korean police passed the information on to New Zealand police after receiving a request for help in the investigation.

But South Korean police currently do not have the authority to track the woman’s whereabouts or detain her because she remains a New Zealand citizen who may be linked to a crime that occurred in New Zealand, Mr Park said.

It will be difficult for South Korean police to hunt him down unless New Zealand officials ask for his extradition, which could happen if the investigation continues to a point where Interpol has placed a red notice against him, said Mr Park.

The woman was born in South Korea and later moved to New Zealand where she obtained citizenship.

New Zealand police suspect that the woman may be the mother of the children found dead, as her previous address in New Zealand was registered to a storage unit where the suitcases had been kept for years.

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