The father of the children, who were found rotting in unclaimed suitcases won at an auction, died of cancer before his wife left for South Korea, it has been revealed.
The grisly discovery of the boy and girl, believed to be between the ages of five and 10 when they died four years before being found in Auckland, New Zealand on August 11, made global headlines.
A family who had successfully bid at auction for the contents of a Safe Store Papatoetoe storage unit found the bodies in two similarly sized suitcases when they were shipped to their home in Clendon Park.
New Zealand and South Korean police are now cooperating in a murder investigation into the horror case.
The father of the children, who were decomposing in unclaimed suitcases won at an auction, died of cancer before his wife left for South Korea, it has been revealed
The suitcases were among items purchased by a New Zealand family during an online auction of a storage unit at Safe Store Papatoetoe
The family who opened the suitcases is not under suspicion.
Instead, police are said to be focusing on the whereabouts of a woman believed to be the children’s mother who flew to Seoul in 2018.
Inquiries with both police and Interpol have revealed that she is missing, but her last known whereabouts were in South Korea.
Detectives have now revealed that her husband died of cancer up to a year before she flew to South Korea, stuff.co.nz reported.
He was the children’s father.
The children may not be named due to a suppressive order
The grisly discovery of the boy and girl, believed to be between the ages of five and 10, when they died four years before being found in Auckland on August 11. The affected warehouse Safe Store (pictured) is cooperating with the police
The couple, who police have confirmed are both from South Korea, got married in New Zealand.
Earlier this week, New Zealand police confirmed they knew the children’s identities but have not yet been able to release that information due to a legal suppression order.
They also believe the children were between the ages of five and 10 and have reportedly been dead for up to four years.
Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua said the coroner issued the temporary non-publication order at the request of her family, the NZ Herald reported.
Detectives and forensic teams raided the home of the family, who unwittingly acquired the contents at auction (pictured)
New Zealand police have requested information about a woman who arrived in South Korea (pictured) in 2018
“This order suppresses the names of the children and their relatives, as well as any evidence that could lead to the identification of the two victims,” he said.
“Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the children’s deaths.”
The missing woman, a Korean-born New Zealander, arrived in South Korea in 2018 and there has been no record of her departure since then, a police official told Reuters.
Her whereabouts and whether she had other relatives with her when she arrived in the country were not immediately known.
“New Zealand police had asked for confirmation as to whether the person who may be connected to a criminal case was in South Korea,” the officer said, adding that she could be the children’s mother given her previous address and age .
New Zealand police launched a murder investigation in Auckland this month after the children’s remains were found by a family searching the contents of a storage cupboard they had bought unnoticed.
The family who found the bodies had nothing to do with the deaths.
On August 18, Detective Inspector Vaaelua said the children may have been in the suitcases between the ages of three and four. Both suitcases were similar in size.
Detective Inspector Vaaelua said police have reason to believe the children have families in New Zealand who have not yet been identified.
“The investigative team is working very hard to bring accountability to the person or persons responsible for the deaths of these children,” Detective Inspector Vaaelua said.
A family from Manurewa, south Auckland, bid at an auction on August 11 and won the unit’s contents before making the shocking discovery it contained human remains
“We have started investigations with foreign agencies. I can not say more about that.’
Detective Inspector Vaaelua said CCTV was being analyzed but admitted police faced a massive challenge after the long period the bodies had been stored.
“The nature of this discovery makes the investigation a bit more complicated, especially given the time that elapsed between the time of death and the time of discovery,” he said.
A director of storage company Safe Store Ltd, who asked not to be identified, said the company was cooperating with the police in its investigation.
“We won’t say anything because the police are investigating and we are cooperating with the police,” the director said.