October 5, 2022
suitcase pictured in a movie still

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

A New Zealand family unzipped a nightmare last week when they realized their newly-purchased suitcases contained human remains.

According to reports, the family made the grisly discovery after buying the pair of suitcases via an online auction. Police were called to a home in the South Auckland suburb of Manurewa after the remains were uncovered, and investigators quickly made an even more unsettling discovery: the human remains were of two children.

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During a press conference on Thursday, Detective Inspector Tofilau Fa’amanuia Va’aelua said the development would be “extremely upsetting for the community to hear,” sharing:

“I can confirm we’re dealing with the bodies of two children … of primary school age.”

Va’aelua noted that officials couldn’t determine an exact age of the victims due to “challenges in regards to how the bodies were presented,” but said they estimated the children were between the ages of 5 and 10.

He added that the department is “still on a fact finding mission and we still have a lot of unanswered questions,” sharing that post-mortem examinations and formal identification procedures are underway to try to establish the time, location, and cause of death. The detective explained:

“Their bodies were concealed in two suitcases of similar size. The suitcases, together with a number of other unowned property, were purchased in an online auction. Early indications suggest these children may have been deceased for a number of years before they were found last week. We also believe these suitcases have been in storage for a number of years.”

Va’aelua said police believed the children’s bodies had been in the storage facility for three or four years before being found, adding that the family who made the gruesome discovery is “not connected to the death of the children.”

He shared:

“They are understandably distressed by the discovery and they have asked for privacy.”

Police said other household and personal items sold from the storage facility are being looked at to help in the identification of the victims, who authorities believe have relatives in New Zealand.

Va’aelua continued during the presser:

“I really feel for the family of the victims and right here, right now, there are relatives out there who are not aware their loves ones are deceased. As for the investigation team, there are a number of them who are parents, this is no easy investigation. I myself am a parent of young kids, but we have a job to do and we’re doing our very best to conclude the inquiry and establish exactly what happened to these two young children.”

So awful for everyone involved. Hopefully the family of these victims are notified soon.

[Image via Abulaphia Music/YouTube]

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