Clendon Park case: CCTV footage leads to arrest of woman in South Korea

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Photo: RNZ / Rayssa Almeida

CCTV footage led police in South Korea to the woman wanted for the murder of two children found in suitcases in South Auckland.

A 42-year-old woman was arrested in Ulsan yesterday and is being held in Seoul pending an extradition hearing.

She is on trial for two counts of murder.

A local reporter, Steven Borowiec, said police found the woman in an apartment after reviewing CCTV footage.

He said the woman had moved from Seoul earlier this year, having moved to South Korea in 2018.

“What made it more difficult to find her was that she didn’t live in a property under her own name. She was sort of a long-term guest in a residence under someone else’s name,” Borowiec said.

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When the woman was detained by Korean police, she told reporters that she was innocent.

Borowiec said the case has attracted a lot of attention in South Korea.

He said Koreans will struggle in the coming days with the possible embarrassment and damage this story could bring to the country.

Borowiec speculates that the extradition process would take place soon.

“It seems that the two countries are about on the same page if they want to find answers to what happened here as quickly as possible,” he said.

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Clendon Park tragedy

In August 2022, Auckland police discovered human remains at a home in Clendon Park.

Police were notified of the discovery after a family unknowingly purchased an abandoned storage cabinet at an online auction containing human remains of children believed to be between the ages of five and ten.

Earlier this week, New Zealand police filed a warrant for the woman’s arrest in Korean courts, under the New Zealand-Republic of Korea extradition treaty.

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County Manukau CIB Detective Inspector Tofilau Fa’ amanuia Vaaelua said New Zealand police had requested that the woman be extradited back to New Zealand to face charges and requested that she remain in custody in pending the completion of the extradition process.

Police suspect that the arrested woman could be the mother of the two victims, as her former New Zealand address was registered on the storage room where the suitcases were left.

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