Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

Woman arrested in S. Korea after bodies found in New Zealand

New Zealand Herald

A woman was arrested in South Korea on Thursday on two murder charges from New Zealand, where the bodies of two long-dead children were found last month in abandoned suitcases, authorities said.

Authorities didn't immediately say if the 42-year-old suspect was the dead children's mother. New Zealand police had earlier told their South Korean counterparts that the mother might be living in South Korea.

South Korean police said they detained the woman in the southeastern port city of Ulsan, based on a South Korean court warrant issued after New Zealand requested her extradition.

The woman remains in South Korea and will undergo a review at the Seoul High Court over whether she should be extradited, said Park Seung-hoon, an official at the National Police Agency. Park said a date hadn't yet been set but the review must take place within two months.

New Zealand police said the warrant was in connection with two charges of murder, and they have applied to have the woman extradited under the provisions of a treaty between the two nations. They said they have asked South Korean authorities to keep the woman in jail until she is extradited.

“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 said the investigation had been “very challenging” and that inquiries were continuing both in New Zealand and abroad.

Vaaelua said police weren't going to comment further as the matter was now before the courts. Authorities in New Zealand typically don't comment on pending court cases in order to avoid the possibility of influencing the outcome.

The 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 children were between 5 and 10 years old, had been dead for a number of years, and the suitcases had been in storage for at least three or four years, according to police.

South Korean police say the woman was born in South Korea and later moved to New Zealand, where she gained citizenship. She returned to South Korea in 2018, according to immigration records.

South Korean police say it was suspected she could be the mother of the two victims, as her past address in New Zealand was registered to the storage unit where the suitcases were kept for years.

____

Perry reported from Wellington, New Zealand.

Related Stories
A woman is arrested in South Korea after bodies are found in New Zealand suitcases
Authorities didn't immediately say whether a woman detained in South Korea on two murder charges from New Zealand was the mother of two dead children found last month in abandoned suitcases.
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
Woman arrested in South Korea over children’s bodies found in suitcases in New Zealand
A woman was arrested in South Korea on Thursday on two murder charges from New Zealand, where the bodies of two long-dead children were found last month in abandoned suitcases, authorities said.
Woman arrested in South Korea after bodies found in suitcases in New Zealand
A woman was arrested in South Korea on Thursday on murder charges from New Zealand after the bodies of two children were found in abandoned suitcases, authorities said.
Woman held in S Korea over bodies found in New Zealand suitcases
Police say the woman is believed to be the mother of two children whose remains were found in suitcases in New Zealand.
Woman arrested in South Korea after bodies of two children found in abandoned suitcases in New Zealand
42-year-old was arrested after an extradition request
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
Woman arrested in South Korea for murder of children whose bodies were found in suitcases in New Zealand
Seoul High Court will decide within two months whether to extradite the woman to New Zealand