Woman arrested in S. Korea after bodies found in New Zealand
A lady who is accused of killing her two children, who were discovered last month in suitcases in New Zealand, is detained, according to South Korean police.
A woman is facing two murder charges in South Korea for a crime committed in New Zealand, where the bodies of her two long-dead children were found in abandoned suitcases last month, authorities said.
Authorities have not yet confirmed whether the 42-year-old suspect is the mother of the deceased children.
However, New Zealand police had informed their South Korean counterparts that the mother might be residing in South Korea.
South Korea's National Police Agency and Justice Ministry revealed that the woman was held by South Korean police in the port city of Ulsan on the basis of a court warrant granted by a South Korean court after New Zealand requested her temporary arrest as part of an extradition procedure.
The woman hid her identity with the hood of her coat as officers escorted her outside an Ulsan police station and put her in a car that headed for the capital, Seoul, where she will be questioned by prosecutors.
A formal request must be submitted for her extradition to the South Korean Justice Ministry within 45 days. The Ministry will decide whether to proceed with an extradition review at the Seoul High Court to rule whether she would be sent to New Zealand.
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The lady will remain in police custody until she is extradited, according to New Zealand police, who stated that the South Korean warrant was in relation to two murder charges.
“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 New Zealand Police Interpol staff,” Detective Inspector Tofilau Fa’amanuia Vaaelua said in a statement.
He claimed that the inquiry had been "very challenging" and that both domestic and international inquiries were still being made.
According to Vaaelua, the Police would rather not comment further because the case was already in court. In order to prevent the possibility of influencing the result of ongoing court proceedings, authorities in New Zealand normally refrain from commenting.
Bodies in suitcases
The children’s bodies were discovered last month after a New Zealand family bought abandoned goods, including two suitcases, from a storage unit in Auckland in an online auction. Police said the New Zealand family had nothing to do with the deaths.
The luggage had been in storage for at least three or four years and the youngsters, who were between the ages of 5 and 10, had been dead for a while, according to authorities.
The woman, according to South Korean authorities, was born there before relocating to New Zealand, where she obtained citizenship. In 2018, her return to South Korea was documented in immigration papers.
She may be the mother of the two victims, according to South Korean authorities, given that the storage facility where the luggage was held for years was registered to her previous residence in New Zealand.