A New Zealand family made a grim discovery when they reportedly found human remains in a suitcase they recently won – a find resulting in a homicide investigation.
The discovery was made at a home in Manurewa on the country’s North Island, near Auckland, on the afternoon of Aug. 11. Police were alerted after the family “brought unowned property to their address,” Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua, Counties Manukau District Crime Manager, said in a news release last week.
Multiple New Zealand outlets reported the family found the remains while going through materials they had won as part of a storage unit auction. Authorities did not disclose how many human remains were found, but said staff was working at the address overnight, as it became a homicide investigation.
Vaaelua added the family are not involved in the incident and are working with authorities.
“No matter the time frame, the public can continue to be reassured that Police are committed to holding the person, or persons, responsible to account,” Vaaelua added.
Police said they are still investigating the incident in a Wednesday update, adding their priority is to confirmed the identities of the remains. Results of post-mortem examinations to determine the circumstances of the deaths are pending, as police say this is “a complex investigation – and it will take time.”
“We know any incident like this is incredibly unsettling for the community,” Vaaelua said. “Police will provide an update when appropriate, but it is imperative we provide accurate information.”
New Zealand police told USA TODAY they could not comment further on the investigation.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.