A woman was arrested in South Korea today. Bae Byung-soo/Newsis/AP

Woman detained in South Korea after bodies found in suitcases in New Zealand

The bodies of two children were discovered in abandoned suitcases in Auckland.

A WOMAN WAS arrested in South Korea today on murder charges from New Zealand after the bodies of two children were found in abandoned suitcases, authorities said.

Authorities did not 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 south-eastern port city of Ulsan, based on a South Korean court warrant issued after New Zealand requested her extradition.

The unidentified woman covered her face with the hood of her coat as officers escorted her outside an Ulsan police station and put her in a car headed for the capital, Seoul.

She 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. The review must take place within two months.

New Zealand said they have asked South Korean authorities to keep the woman in jail until she is extradited.

The bodies of the two dead children 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 five 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.

Press Association