WELLINGTON, Aug 19 — New Zealand police are investigating the suspected murder of two children whose remains were found in suitcases bought at an online auction for an unclaimed locker last week.

Police launched a homicide inquiry in Auckland last week after the remains were found by a family going through the contents of a storage locker they had purchased unseen.

The two children were aged between five and 10 years and had been dead for some time, police said in a statement on Thursday. The suitcases had been in storage for some time, they added, without providing details.

Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua told reporters the children had yet to be formally identified, but they believed they had family in New Zealand.

It was possible their families were not aware the children were dead, he added.

Police did not give any details on how the children had died or whether there were any suspects.

The family who found the bodies were not connected to the deaths. — Reuters