New Zealand police have confirmed that at least two bodies found stuffed in suitcases last week are those of children.
The shocking discovery came last week after a family bought the contents of an abandoned storage container and only opened the suitcases, which were inside the storage unit, once they arrived home in Manurew, in south Auckland, last week.
In an update on Thursday morning, the Counties Manukau district crime manager, Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua, warned the latest update “will be extremely upsetting news for the community to hear.”
Vaaelua said initial postmortem examinations of the bodies revealed the remains found in two suitcases are that of two primary school-aged children.
“Early indications suggest these children may have been deceased for a number of years before being found last week,” Vaaelua said in a statement obtained by The Daily Beast.
The children have yet to be publicly identified, as formal identification procedures are still ongoing, with police confirming they “are not yet able to comment on the identities of the children.”
They said once identification is completed, “our priority is to contact the next of kin.”
Vaaelua said that the nature of the discovery provides “some complexities to the investigation,” considering the find in the storage unit.
Last week, the family took the haul from the storage unit and drove several hours to return home, parked the contents in their yard, and then began rummaging through it a day later.
Police confirmed the discovery of the children’s remains occurred after the family brought the items back to their address from the storage facility.
Scene examinations have also been completed at both locations.
“We reiterate that the occupants of the Moncrieff Avenue property are not connected to their deaths,” Vaaelua said.
“They are understandably distressed by the discovery, and they have asked for privacy. We are ensuring there is support in place for them.”
When asked by The Daily Beast if there were more bodies involved other than the two children, New Zealand Police would not comment on the matter.
At the time of the discovery, neighbors told Newshub that at least three hearses showed up at the home and that they could smell decomposed bodies.