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Police open homicide investigation after New Zealand family finds human remains in suitcases bought at auction

Funeral Investigation Remains
Posted at 4:50 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 18:04:00-04

Authorities in New Zealand have opened a homicide investigation after a family in Manurewa found human remains in luggage they bought at auction at a local storage unit.

The Counties Manukau Police said they were alerted about the discovery by the family last Thursday around 1:30 p.m. local time after they went through the property back at their residence.

Police said they believe the family is not involved in the incident.

"Police acknowledge them for their assistance so far, and we are providing support for them," the department said in a statement.

Multiple news outlets reported the suitcases were amongst other items inside an abandoned storage unit.

Police said they are working on identifying the remains so they can contact the deceased person's next of kin.

Police said this may take some time due to "the nature of the discovery."

Police said a post-mortem examination is underway and that'll be completed over the coming days.

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