A 42-year-old South Korean woman has been extradited to New Zealand to face charges stemming from the discovery of the remains of two children found in a storage locker.
In August 2022, a New Zealand family purchased an abandoned storage unit. Normally, these units will go up for bid after a certain amount of time has passed once payments have ceased, and the auction winner will get everything inside the unit. Resellers or those who love the thrill of finding valuable items often purchase these units and either keep or resell the items inside.
After their winning bid, the family removed goods from the storage unit and brought them home to examine. To their horror, they discovered the remains of two children in suitcases and immediately contacted the authorities, who opened a homicide investigation.
Just weeks later, the children were identified, and a hunt for the children’s mother began.
According to authorities, the children’s mother was born in Korea but later moved to New Zealand, where she met and married her now-deceased husband. The two children thought to be a boy and a girl, are alleged to have been born in 2009 and 2012.
A woman with the surname Lee, alleged to be the children’s mother, was arrested in Ulsan, South Korea, while attempting to hide in an apartment. According to Korean news outlets, the woman proclaimed her innocence after arrest, stating that she “didn’t do it.”
While the extradition process can take several months, Lee was extradited to New Zealand on November 29, 2022, as New Zealand and South Korea cooperated to find justice for the children.
With the extradition, we hope that the truth of the case, which has garnered worldwide attention, will be revealed through the fair and strict judicial process of New Zealand.
— South Korea’s Justice Ministry
As of December 2022, Lee has pled not guilty and will remain in custody until the four-week trial that is currently scheduled for April 2024.