Seoul, South Korea — South Korea extradited a 42-year-old woman to New Zealand, two months after she was arrested after finding the bodies of two long-dead children in an abandoned suitcase.
New Zealand police said the woman arrived at Auckland airport on Tuesday after they sent three officers to South Korea to bring her back.
They say she will be held in jail overnight and will appear on Wednesday in Manukau District Court, where she will face two murder charges.
The incident shocked many in New Zealand after the children’s bodies were discovered in August when an Auckland family bought abandoned items, including two suitcases, from a storage room during a showdown. online prices.
“The investigative team wanted to credit support from agencies in both New Zealand and South Korea, which meant we were able to bring an alleged offender to court,” Detective Inspector Tofilau Fa’amanuia Vaaelua said in a statement.
South Korea’s Ministry of Justice said the unidentified woman was handed over to New Zealand authorities on Monday night at Incheon International Airport near Seoul. The ministry said it also provided New Zealand with unspecified “substantial evidence” in the case.
“With extradition, we hope that the truth of the case, which has attracted worldwide attention, will be revealed through New Zealand’s fair and rigorous trial process,” the statement said. father said.
South Korean Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon issued an extradition order for the woman earlier this month. The Seoul High Court previously approved her extradition after she expressed written consent to be returned to New Zealand.
South Korean police arrested the woman in a southern port city in September, based on a domestic court order issued after New Zealand requested her temporary arrest. The New Zealand Department of Justice then sent a formal request for her extradition to the Ministry of South Korea.
New Zealand police say South Korea’s arrest warrant is for a suspect in connection with two murder charges.
The children, aged between five and 10, have been dead for many years, and the suitcases have been stored in Auckland for at least three or four years, according to New Zealand police.
South Korean police said the woman was born in South Korea and later moved to New Zealand, where she holds citizenship. Immigration records show that she returned to South Korea in 2018.
South Korean police said they suspect she may be the mother of the two victims, as her previous address in New Zealand was registered to the storage unit where the suitcases were kept. A coroner in New Zealand has issued a temporary order preventing the release of the names of the two victims.
Perry reports from Wellington, New Zealand.