The mother of two children whose bodies were discovered inside suitcases in New Zealand earlier this month is suspected to be in South Korea.
The bodies of two children, estimated to be between 5 and 10 years old, were found inside suitcases bought by a New Zealand family at an abandoned goods auction on Aug. 11. Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua stated that the children had been dead for many years and were inside the suitcase for at least three or four years.
According to South Korean police, the woman is a Korean-born citizen in her 40s who arrived in New Zealand in 2018 with no record of leaving the country since then.
The woman’s exact whereabouts are currently unknown, and authorities have not determined whether she arrived in South Korea with other relatives. She has not been named as of Tuesday.
“New Zealand police had requested confirmation whether the person who might be related to a crime case was in South Korea,” a Seoul police officer told Reuters.
South Korean broadcaster KBS reported that the woman had lived at the address related to the suitcases for a long period of time.
Seoul police have responded to New Zealand’s request to track down the woman via Interpol. The investigation, however, will not begin until additional documents establish grounds for Seoul police to investigate as the woman is a citizen of New Zealand.
“If the woman is clearly identified as a suspect and an arrest warrant is received, there is a high possibility of an Interpol red notice. We will then proceed with the extradition process,” an official from the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the National Police Agency said per The New Zealand Herald.
Vaaeula added that police were making “very good progress with DNA inquiries” and that the children had relatives residing in New Zealand but who are now suspected to be in South Korea as well. The family who bought the suitcases are not under investigation.