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Human remains found in storage container bought at auction in New Zealand

NZ Herald

A family who bought an abandoned storage container at auction have made the grisly discovery of human remains inside suitcases.

A homicide investigation has been launched after the family took the large trailer-sized container to their house in the Auckland suburb of Manurewa, New Zealand, and found the body parts on Thursday.

The human remains may be from a number of homicide victims, Newshub reported citing police sources.

A former crematorium worker who lives in the neighbourhood told news website Stuff that he noticed a “wicked” and “rotten” smell in the area and that he “knew straight away” what it was.

Postmortem examinations have been underway to identify the deceased.

Police have refused to comment on whether the remains could be from multiple victims until they can release the results of the postmortems.

On Friday, Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua said the postmortems are expected to be completed “over the coming days”.

The storage unit outside the house cordoned off by police (NZ Herald)

He added: “We appreciate there is significant public interest in what has occurred however, given the nature of the discovery, there are still a number of inquiries to be carried out.

“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.”

Mr Vaaelua said there is “no immediate risk to the public” in regards to the incident.

A police spokesperson told the New Zealand Herald: “The priority for police is to confirm the identification of the deceased so that we can establish the full circumstances behind the discovery.

“However, we are still awaiting the completion and results of the post-mortem examination so we are unable to comment.

“ ... Innocent people and families of victims should not be re-victimised or suffer undue stress by inaccurate or reckless reporting. Police will endeavour to provide media with an update as soon as we can.”

The house where the discovery of the human remains took place has been cordoned off, and police have erected a tent outside where searches of the items from the storage unit have taken place.

Hearses had also arrived at the property, according to reports citing neighbourhood residents.

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