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Arrest made over two children found dead in suitcases

Arrest made over two children found dead in suitcases

A woman in South Korea will now be extradited back to New Zealand to face charges.

A 42-year-old woman has been arrested in South Korea after the bodies of two young children were found in suitcases in Auckland.

Police have said in a statement this morning (September 15) they have applied to have the woman extradited back to New Zealand to face charges and requested she remain in custody in South Korea while the extradition process is ongoing. 

In a statement to the press, Deputy Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua thanked police in South Korea for their efforts in apprehending the suspect.

"To have someone in custody overseas within such a short period of time has all been down to the assistance of the Korean authorities and the coordination by our NZ Police Interpol Staff," he said.

Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua.

The remains of the children were found in Manurewa on August 11 by a family who had won the suitcases at an auction for abandoned goods in a storage unit. 

The family who found the remains have nothing to do with the deaths of the children. 

The finding shocked the country, with co-resident of the Korea-NZ Cultural Association Diane Lee told Stuff that she was 'shocked' and 'saddened' to hear that the two children found were Korean. 

Lee has said there has been a lot of talk within the Korean community about the case.

Korean Women's Association of New Zealand spokeswoman Eun Hee Kim added that justice needs to be done. 

"I would like to express my deep condolences to the young victims who were born in the world and died without living properly," she said, as per Stuff.

Auckland Manurewa-Papakura Ward councillor Daniel Newman told NewsHub: "These homicides are unspeakably shocking and have brought a great sense of concern as to circumstances surrounding the entire case."

The suitcase was purchased via online auction by a family in South Auckland.

"The discovery of the bodies in the suitcases at Moncrieff Ave brought an unhelpful sense of intrigue as well as an expectation that the subsequent investigation would lead to arrests.

"I am hopeful that the deceased children's stories will be told, that those responsible are held to account and that the wider community receives the necessary closure in this case," Newman said.

It’s believed the father of the two children found, who were aged five and eight at the time of death, died back in 2017.

That is a year before the mother is thought to have arrived in South Korea. 

There has been no other information released about the woman arrested as of yet.

Words by Millie Hinchliffe

Featured Image Credit: Maen Zayyad / Alamy. 1News.

Topics: Crime, News, World News