Auckland suitcase murders: Woman loses name suppression bid

The 42-year-old woman before being extradited from South Korea.

A 42-year-old woman accused of the murder of her two young children - whose bodies were found in suitcases in South Auckland - has lost her bid for continued name suppression - but still can't be named.

High Court Judge Justice Anne Hinton has ruled that the accused no longer qualifies to keep her name a secret - as she did not see enough evidence to suggest that the woman would be "severely affected by the publication of her name, or that her safety would be endangered".

But because the woman's defence lawyer has indicated she plans to challenge the decision, her name can not be published.


The woman was extradited here from South Korea, three months after the remains of her two children were discovered in the Auckland suburb of Clendon on August 11. Their bodies were found inside suitcases that had been stored inside a Safe Store unit in Papatoetoe.

The children, who had been dead for some time, were only discovered after an unsuspecting buyer bought the storage unit in an online auction and began unpacking it in the yard of their home.

The buyer has no connection to the case.

Police had launched a homicide investigation shortly after the children's remains were found. Then, in September, South Korean authorities confirmed it received a request from New Zealand to arrest the woman - the key suspect in the case. It's understood she'd left New Zealand for Korea in 2018 - where she'd remained until her extradition.

She was arrested in the South Korean city of Ulsan, on September 15 2022, with officials also obtaining material evidence requested by New Zealand authorities.

In late October, on the basis that officials in South Korea determined there was probable cause to suspect the 42-year-old had committed an extraditable offence, the Asian nation's Minister of Justice ordered an extradition hearing take place.

Then in mid-November the Seoul High Court granted the extradition, after the woman agreed to it in writing. Days later the Minister of Justice made the final call to surrender the murder-accused within 30 days of November 14.

She was surrendered to NZ authorities on November 28 at Incheon Airport near Seoul - along with the requested evidence. She arrived with a police escort in Auckland the following day and was detained in custody till her court appearance.

The woman had earlier entered a not guilty plea, via her lawyer, to two charges of murder in the High Court at Auckland in December last year.

She was last seen in court on November 30 last year, at the Manukau District Court, just one day after arriving in the country. At that appearance Judge Gus Andrée Wiltens ruled her identity, and that of her two school-aged children remain suppressed.

The woman remains in custody. A trial date has been set down for April 2024.


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