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

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Photo: RNZ / Rayssa Almeida

CCTV footage has led South Korean police to the woman wanted in 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 awaiting an extradition hearing.

She faces two murder charges.

Local reporter Steven Borowiec said police found the woman in an apartment after reviewing security camera footage.

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

“What made her search more difficult was that she didn’t live in a residence that had her own name on it. She was sort of a longtime guest at a property that had someone’s name on it. ‘other,” Borowiec said.

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

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

He said that in the coming days, Koreans would grapple with the shame and harm that this story could bring to the country.

Borowiec speculates that the extradition process would proceed quickly.

“It looks like both countries are pretty much on the same page in wanting to find answers about what happened here as quickly as possible,” he said.

Clendon Park tragedy

In August 2022, Auckland Police discovered human remains in a house in Clendon Park.

Police were alerted to the discovery after a family unknowingly bought an abandoned storage locker at an online auction which contained human remains of children believed to be between the ages of five and 10 .

Earlier in the week, New Zealand police sought a warrant for the woman’s arrest from the Korean courts, under the extradition treaty between New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.

Manukau Counties CIB Detective Inspector Tofilau Fa’ amanuia Vaaelua said New Zealand Police had requested the woman’s extradition to New Zealand to face the charges and requested that she remain in custody pending the completion of the extradition process.

Police suspect the arrested woman may be the mother of the two victims, as her previous address in New Zealand was recorded in the storage unit where the suitcases had been left.

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