THE bodies found in cases won by a family in a Storage Wars-style auction are those of two young children.
Buyers are not allowed to examine the contents before bidding on a unit and the unwitting family towed what they bought back on trailer.
Cops arrived at their house in Auckland on Thursday after being called in by the shaken buyers, as neighbours reported a hideous smell coming from the home.
Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua has now revealed the two bodies are those of two children aged between five and ten-years-old.
They may have been inside two suitcases of similar size for between three and four years, he said.
“I really feel for the families of these victims,” Vaaelua said.
“This is no easy investigation. No matter how long or how many years you serve and investigate horrific cases like this, it’s never an easy task.
“The investigation team is working very hard to hold accountable the person or persons responsible for the death of these children.”
Household and personal items found alongside the suitcases are helping provide clues to identify the victims, said Mr Vaaelua .
He also revealed that police in New Zealand are working with international criminal agency Interpol in their investigation.
The relatives of the victims are thought to be in New Zealand but confirmed family who found the bodies are not involved.
The children had not yet been identified and Vaaelua said he felt for their families, who might not be aware they were dead.
“A lot of us are parents and we have a job to do and we’re doing our very best to identify the victims,” he said.
“What I can say is we are making very good progress with DNA inquiries.”
A neighbour said at the time of the discovery week said in the trailer which transported the suitcases there was “kids stuff in the back of the trailer: prams, toys, walker”.
Three hearses were seen outside the property as the remains were taken away for examination.
A neighbour said there was a noticeable stench coming from the house – and suspected the bodies had been “diced up”.
They said: “Whatever happened… [they] must have been diced up, the way they carried the bodies in to the hearse.
“It was just a small distance handing the remains into the hearse.
“I could smell it here. I thought it was a dead cat or something.
“They brought it back on a trailer. How did they not pick up the smell?
“I knew that because I’m a pig hunter and when carcass go bad it’s the same smell. That’s why I thought it was a dead animal.”
It comes after a family member said his relatives had no idea how many bodies had been found.
Another neighbour, Shelton Honana, told Newshub: “I feel sorry for the family because they’ve got nothing to do with it.
“Whoever did do it… front up. It’s a bit unfair, bro. It’s horrific, f***ing scary.”
The boss of the storage unit company, Safe Store Ltd, confirmed the business is cooperating with the cops in the grisly investigation.
“We won’t say anything because it is under police investigation, and we are cooperating with police,” the director said.
A cordon was put up around the house over the weekend as forensic workers scoured the scene.
A post-mortem examination is now being carried out on the remains.
Companies often auction off abandoned units to get back some of the unpaid rent – a practice which even inspired TV show Storage Wars in the US.
The series set in California has run for more than a decade starting in 2010 – with the latest series in 2021.
Storage units are auctioned off when rent hasn’t been paid for three months.
Buyers can view the contents for just five minutes – but they are not allowed to enter the storage unit or open any boxes.