Two children whose remains were discovered in a set of suitcases purchased at a storage auction have finally been identified by officials in New Zealand.
While police officials from New Zealand have finally identified the remains, their identities will be kept out of the general public at the request of their families, explained the district crime manager for Manukau Counties, Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua, in a Friday statement to the public. Vaaelua claimed that the coroner had put out an interim non-publication order, which seeks to suppress the names of the children as well as those of their families.
“Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the children. Further updates will be provided as the Police investigation allows,” stated Vaaelua in a release.
The bodies were discovered earlier this month in the wake of a family buying a trailer packed with items at a storage auction, which included the two suitcases. The BBC reported at that time that the children had most likely been dead for many years. The outlet went on to state that the remains discovered were from children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old when they died.
“The nature of this discovery provides some complexities to the investigation,” explained Vaaelua in a press release sent out on the 18th of August.
Authorities were able to use household and personal items that were discovered along with the luggage to identify the bodies, as well as make use of surveillance footage recorded by the facility in which they had been restored. Police officials are concerned, however, that they might not be able to discover anything with the footage because of just how much time has gone by since the deaths of the children.
Vaaelua also repeatedly insisted that the family that purchased the luggage at the auction had absolutely zero connection to the deaths and were rightfully distraught upon the discovery of what they had found.
“We want to reassure the community our investigation is continuing to establish the facts to ascertain the full circumstances around the deaths of these children. This includes establishing when, where, and how,” explained Vaaelua in another press release. “[W]e are continuing to treat this matter very seriously and we are determined to hold the person, or persons, responsible for the deaths of these children to account.”
“Police can confirm the discovery of these children’s remains occurred after the residents of the Moncrieff Avenue property brought unowned property back to their address from a storage facility,” he stated.
As part of the news conference, Vaaeula offered their sympathy for the family of the discovered victims.
“I really feel for the victims or the family of these victims. And, you know right here, right now, there are relatives out there that aren’t aware that their loved ones have deceased,” he stated, as reported by CNN.