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Human remains found in suitcase bought by family at auction

Human remains found in suitcase bought by family at auction

Police have launched a homicide investigation and are trying to identify the remains

Police have launched a homicide investigation after human remains were found in a suitcase bought at an auction.

The suitcase was purchased by a family in South Auckland, New Zealand, with the grisly contents only unearthed after they opened it in their home in Manuwera last Thursday (11 August).

Based on initial enquiries, Counties Manukau District Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua, said he 'can advise the occupants of the address are not believed to be involved in the incident'.

New Zealand current affairs show Newshub said a police source had suggested there may be numerous victims involved, but police declined to comment on this, according to NZ Herald.

A neighbour - who used to work at a crematorium - said he recognised the 'wicked smell' when the family brought the suitcase home.

"I knew straight away and I thought 'where is that coming from?'" he told New Zealand news outlet Stuff.

A neighbour said there was a 'wicked smell' emanating from the suitcase.

Another neighbour told Newshub: "I feel sorry for the family because they've got nothing to do with it.

"And whoever did do it, come on, front up. It's a bit unfair, bro. It's horrific, f***ing scary."

Yesterday (Monday 15 August), a family member at the property said they had been told to not talk to media by police but confirmed they had been offered victim support, according to Stuff.

In a statement released on Friday, Detective Faamanuia Vaaelua said police had a number of enquiries to carry out and warned advising next of kin may take time 'given the nature of the discovery'.

He said: "A homicide investigation is underway following the discovery of human remains in Manurewa yesterday afternoon.

"Police were alerted to the discovery on Moncrieff Avenue around 1.30pm on Thursday 11 August, after the occupants brought unowned property to their address. A number of Police staff have been working at the address overnight, including the Specialist Search Group.

"From our enquiries so far, we can advise the occupants of the address are not believed to be involved in the incident.

"Police acknowledge them for their assistance so far and we are providing support for them. Police would also ask the media to respect their privacy at this difficult time.

"We appreciate there is significant public interest in what has occurred, however given the nature of the discovery, there are still a number of enquiries to be carried out.

"Our enquiries are continuing today, which includes an ongoing scene examination, and the local community will see an increased Police presence in the area over the next few days."

A police source reportedly said there could be several victims involved.
NZ Herald

He continued: "A post-mortem examination is underway and this is expected to be competed over the coming days.

"The priority for Police is to confirm the identification of the deceased so that we can establish the full circumstances behind the discovery. This will also lead to the advising of next of kin. Given the nature of the discovery, this might take some time.

"Police reiterate there is no immediate risk to the public in regards to this incident.

"Police will be providing further updates as our investigation allows, however we can reassure the public our enquiry team are taking this matter extremely seriously and will investigate the matter thoroughly."

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Featured Image Credit: Oleksandr Pazukhanych /David Gee 3/Alamy

Topics: News, Crime, New Zealand