The Auckland family is not under investigation, New Zealand authorities say. They found the bodies once they’d hauled the contents of the storage unit several hours away to their home, parked it in the yard, and then started opening it up a day later.
Police said they were called to the scene immediately when the first suitcase revealed body parts. Neighbors told Newshub that at least three hearses showed up at the residence and that they could smell decomposed bodies. “I feel sorry for the family because they’ve got nothing to do with it,” neighbor Shelton Honana told Newshub. “And whoever did do it, come on, front up. It’s a bit unfair, bro. It’s horrific, f***ing scary.”
Now authorities are trying to identify the victims and trace the owner of the suitcases and storage unit. Generally storage units are auctioned off after whoever who rents it fails to pay. It is unclear how old the bodies were or when the last payment had been made. It is also unclear how much the unwitting family paid for the cargo that included the cadavers.
After the discovery was first made, initial reports suggested that the owners of the house—a family with two children who had just moved in—might have been involved. But police quickly cleared up the misunderstanding and reported that the family accidentally bought the corpses home and are not under investigation for any involvement that led to the bodies being stuffed in the suitcases.
Police have not revealed any information about the bodies, but several reports suggest that they were dismembered to better fit inside the suitcases. While police have not revealed how the people were murdered, they have called the investigation a homicide inquiry. “The priority for police is to confirm the identification of the deceased so that we can establish the full circumstances behind the discovery,” a spokesman told Newshub. “However, we are still awaiting the completion and results of the post-mortem examination so we are unable to comment.”