The long-dead bodies were discovered by a family who purchased the suitcases via an online auction.
One month after the bodies of two children were found stuffed inside suitcases won in an online auction in New Zealand, a woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The unnamed, 42-year-old suspect was arrested on Thursday in South Korea (above). While it's unclear if the woman is the children's mother, Seoul police previously said they believed she was in the country.
According to New Zealand police, South Korean authorities arrested the woman on two charges of murder relating to the deaths of the young children. New Zealand police say they have applied to have the woman extradited back to the country to face the charges and requested she remain in police custody until extradition is complete.
"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," NZ PD said in a statement.
After thanking the assistance of the South Korean Ministry of Justice, South Korean Prosecution Service and the Korean National Police Agency, New Zealand police said there are still "a number of enquiries to be completed both in New Zealand and overseas."
South Korean police (via CBS) said the woman arrived in South Korea in 2018, after the children's deaths "and has been hiding" there ever since. "Police arrested the suspect at an apartment in Ulsan on Thursday following a stakeout with tips on her whereabouts and CCTV footage," South Korea's National Police Agency said in a statement.
Back on August 11, police were called to a home in the South Auckland suburb of Manurewa after human remains were found inside suitcases another family won at auction.
At the time, Detective Inspector Tofilau Fa'amanuia Va'aelua said he could confirm they were "dealing with the bodies of two children ... of primary school age." However, due to "challenges in regards to how the bodies were presented" police could only estimate the two were between the ages of 5-10. South Korean police later said the victims were aged 7 and 10.
"Their bodies were concealed in two suitcases of similar size. The suitcases, together with a number of other unowned property, were purchased in an online auction," said Va'aelua at the time. "Early indications suggest these children may have been deceased for a number of years before they were found last week. We also believe these suitcases have been in storage for a number of years."
When asked to specify how long they believed the children were in the storage facility, he said three or four years.
Va'aelua and an official press release from police reiterated that the family who made the discovery is "not connected to the death of the children" -- adding, "They are understandably distressed by the discovery and they have asked for privacy."