The remains of two young children were found inside suitcases that were bought as part of an auction for abandoned goods in a storage unit in South Auckland, New Zealand, local media reported.
Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua confirmed the reports and said that the remains of two children, primary school-aged, were found at a Manurewa property on August 11.
He further said that in early indications, the team felt that the children have been deceased for a number of years before being found, New Zealand Herald reported. Vaaelua said he understands the discovery will be deeply upsetting for the community.
Police are still in the early stages of their investigation, he explained, but the children appear to have been dead for a number of years.
Police are following "positive lines of inquiry" in terms of the storage unit rental, Vaaelua said.
The detective also stated that the children were aged between 5 and 10 and police were working on establishing when and where they died. "What I can say is we are making very good progress with DNA inquiries," he added.
Giving further details about the incident, Vaaelua said that they are looking at canvassing and collecting CCTV footages. However, the number of years that had passed is making it challenging, according to local media.
"We are doing our very best to conclude the inquiry and figure out what happened to these young children...This is no easy investigation."
He declined to answer several questions from the media, saying the investigation may otherwise be compromised. Relatives of the victims "were in New Zealand", he said.
According to police, people living at the Moncrieff Ave house brought "unowned property to their address" last Thursday and "are not involved in the incident".
It is understood the family purchased the contents of a storage locker as part of an online auction and found the remains in suitcases as part of the purchase.
A police cordon was set up at the house during the weekend while forensic workers undertook a scene examination. By early this week, police had left the address but large metal gates across the driveway were closed.