The official said the woman, a New Zealand citizen, arrived in South Korea in 2018 and there was no record of her subsequently leaving the country.
The woman held Korean citizenship before becoming a New Zealand citizen “a long time ago,” the official said. The official did not give the woman’s name or any other identifying information and could not confirm if she was born in South Korea.
Her whereabouts are unknown, officials said. The South Korean police have not launched their own investigation into the case, but are cooperating with the New Zealand authorities through Interpol.
The children, who were likely between 5 and 10 years old, could have been dead for several years, possibly three or four years, according to New Zealand police.
New Zealand police said the family who bought the suitcases at the auction are not under investigation.
New Zealand police on Monday told CNN they could not confirm the details provided by South Korean police at this stage of the investigation.