Seoul police believe a possible relative of two children whose bodies were found in suitcases in New Zealand last week is likely to be in South Korea.
Immigration records show the unidentified woman in her 40s arrived in South Korea in 2018, but there has been no record of her leaving since, according to National Agency official Park Seung-hoon. Seoul Police Department.
The children’s remains were found last week in Auckland after a New Zealand family bought the suitcases at an online abandoned property auction.
The children were between five and 10 years old and had been dead for several years, and the suitcases had been in storage for at least three or four years, Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua said.
Mr Park said South Korean police passed the information on to New Zealand police after receiving a request for help with the investigation.
But South Korean police currently have no authority to find the woman or detain her as she remains a New Zealand citizen possibly linked to a crime that happened in New Zealand, Mr Park said.
It would be difficult for the South Korean police to prosecute her unless the New Zealand authorities make an extradition request, which can happen if the investigation progresses to the point where Interpol places a red notice against her, Mr. Park said.
The woman was born in South Korea and later moved to New Zealand where she was granted citizenship.
New Zealand police suspect the woman may be the mother of the children found dead, as her former address in New Zealand was recorded in a storage unit where the suitcases were kept for years.