Dead children in suitcases: authorities are looking for a mother in South Korea

After an auction, a New Zealand family finds human body parts in the suitcases they bought, which apparently come from two children.

Dead children in suitcases: authorities are looking for a mother in South Korea

After an auction, a New Zealand family finds human body parts in the suitcases they bought, which apparently come from two children. The investigations lead the police to South Korea, where they also suspect the mother of the children.

South Korean police say they have identified the mother of the children found dead in a suitcase. The case has occupied the authorities in New Zealand for more than two weeks. On August 11, a family bought a trailer load of household items at an online auction. Two suitcases were among the items that came from a warehouse and whose owners could no longer be traced. The family man discovered human body parts in them.

Since then, the local authorities have already gained some insights. Initially, Detective Inspector Tofilau told Faamanuia Vaaelua that the dead were children. Their exact age has not yet been determined, but it is believed they were between five and 10 years old, the investigator said. In an initial statement, Vaaelua said it was possible their families were unaware that the children were dead.

It is assumed that the two children died "a few years ago". The two suitcases were believed to have been kept in a locker at the Safe Store Papatoetoe for three to four years. Vaaelua did not comment at this point on whether the children were related or what gender they were. The investigator also kept a low profile on the cause of death and referred to the pending autopsy results.

They then revealed that the children were of Asian origin. It later becomes clear that the investigations are concentrating on connections to South Korea. In the first, cautious assessments, the investigators announce that they have been able to locate relatives of the children.

It is now clear that the authorities believe they have identified the children's mother. A South Korean police officer confirmed this to US broadcaster CNN. The wanted woman is therefore a New Zealander who used to have South Korean citizenship. She had lived in New Zealand for years at an address related to the case. Given her age, it is suspected that she could be the mother.

The woman is said to have entered South Korea in 2018. However, there are no documents that prove that she left the country again, it said. However, the officer did not provide the woman's name or other identifying details. He also left open whether she was born in South Korea. It is unclear where she is currently.

The case of the two dead children is now also the concern of the international police agency Interpol. If the woman is clearly identified as a suspect and there is an arrest warrant, extradition proceedings should be sought against the woman. However, since she is now no longer a South Korean citizen, authorities there need a New Zealand court order to determine the woman's exact whereabouts.

Further questions are still open. It is not yet clear, among other things, whether the children had attended school or other childcare facilities in New Zealand before their death. Then her disappearance should have been noticed. It is also not yet known whether there were other family members who lived permanently or temporarily with the mother and children.

The Korean community in New Zealand was shocked by the revelations so far. Diane Lee, co-president of the Korea-NZ Cultural Association, said in a statement that everyone in the Korean community is sad and prays for the "innocent children". No one was known to the family in question.

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