New Zealand police on Thursday confirmed thatbought at an Auckland auction were those of two primary school-aged children, and officers vowed to find those responsible.
Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua said it's likely the bodies were in storage for several years, adding that the victims are thought to have been between five and ten years old.
The children were concealed in two suitcases of similar size, he said.
"The nature of this discovery provides some complexities to the investigation, especially given the time lapsed between the time of death and the time of discovery," Vaaelua added.
The children haven't been identified and Vaaelua said he felt for their families, who might not be aware they were dead.
"A lot of us (in the police) are parents and we have a job to do and we're doing our very best to identify the victims," he said.
"What I can say is we are making very good progress with DNA inquiries.
"The investigation team is working very hard to hold accountable the person or persons responsible for the death of these children."
"This includes establishing where, when and how," he stressed.
The remains were only discovered when a family brought a trailer-load of items being sold in bulk from a storage unit.
Police reiterated that the family concerned are not connected to the homicide but are "understandably distressed by the discovery" and they have asked for privacy, Vaaelua added.
They're receiving support to help deal with the trauma.
Household and personal items found alongside the suitcases are helping provide clues to identify the victims.
Both the storage unit and property where the suitcases were brought have been thoroughly examined by forensic experts.
Vaaelua also revealed that New Zealand police are working with international criminal agency Interpol in their investigation — a sign detectives might think the suspect or suspects are now living overseas.
Relatives of the victims are thought to be in New Zealand.
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