Offender linked to homicide investigation where human remains were found in suitcases may have fled overseas - former homicide detective

A former homicide detective and police negotiator believes the person or people linked to a homicide investigation in Auckland where human remains were found in suitcases may have fled overseas. 

Newshub revealed on Monday that the remains were unknowingly taken by a family to their Manurewa home who'd bid and won an auction for abandoned goods in a storage unit. 

Lance Burdett was a police officer for 22 years, leading multiple homicide inquiries as a detective inspector. 

He feels for the family in Manurewa, who found human remains in suitcases brought home from a storage unit.

"When you are confronted with situations such as this one you can never forget it, you can never unsee it," he told Newshub

Burdett, who now runs consultancy firm Warn International, said it's likely police will be dealing with multiple crime scenes, starting with the storage unit. 

"They'll be looking for another scene. That could be well on the cards, that the person or persons have been placed there once they're deceased and have been killed somewhere else."

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The storage unit where the remains were taken from is the Papatoetoe branch of company Safe Store. 

A company director told Newshub: "We are okay, and we are cooperating with the police. We want to help the police and are answering all questions. But we won't make any further comment."

Police have said they're awaiting the results of a post-mortem. 

Burdett is confident police will have solid lines of inquiry, even if the offender has fled.

"Probably a likelihood that they would have got out of the country if they could have, because as I understand it, it was an abandoned container where these remains were taken from."

Newshub asked police if they had spoken with Interpol or asked for assistance from any of their international partners as part of the investigation. 

But they did not address those questions, saying detectives are still in the "very early" stages of the inquiry and will provide an update when they're in a position to do so.