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Human remains reportedly found in suitcases bought at New Zealand auction

Police tape against a wet road
Police have confirmed human remains were discovered at a New Zealand house after occupants ‘brought unowned property to their address’. Photograph: Mark Baker/AP

Police are investigating after being called to reports that human remains were found in suitcases bought at an auction at a storage facility in New Zealand.

It is understood the remains were found in items inside a storage container that an unsuspecting family had bought, and that police could be dealing with multiple sets of remains, current affairs show Newshub reported.

Police have launched a homicide investigation and are trying to identify the remains. The police do not believe the family are involved in the incident.

The occupants of an Auckland home called police when they discovered the remains after they “brought unowned property to their address”, DI Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua said.

Police would not comment further, saying only that a postmortem was under way.

“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,” Faamanuia Vaaelua said.

“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.”

There was no immediate risk to the public, he said.

A 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.”

News website Stuff reported that other neighbours had noticed a “wicked smell” coming from the property on Thursday, shortly before police arrived.

Another neighbour said her son had seen a suitcase being removed from a trailer at the property and taken to a forensic tent.

Detectives and forensic teams had been seen standing back in shock, she said.

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