Police name women found dead in Christchurch house

By Alanah Eriksen, NZ Herald staff

The recently-sold house where Sung Eun Cho and her two daughters were found dead.  Photo / NZPA
The recently-sold house where Sung Eun Cho and her two daughters were found dead. Photo / NZPA

Police have named the three women found dead in a Christchurch home.

They were Sung Eun Cho, 43, and her daughters Yeon Jae Bark (known as Holly), 17, and Yeon Sue Baek (known as Kelly), 13.

Detective Senior Sergeant Virginia Le Bas, Christchurch CIB, said Kelly and Holly were pupils of St Andrews College in the city.

"Police have been working with the Korean Embassy to notify next of kin in South Korea. Other family members will be travelling to New Zealand in the next few days," she said.

"I can't comment on the circumstances of the deaths as this is now a coronial matter. Clearly however family and friends are distressed by what has happened and support is being provided to them," Ms Le Bas said.

The house in Apsley Drive, where the bodies of the three women were found yesterday, was sold two weeks ago.

Police were called to the house in the suburb of Russley about 10.30am.

It is understood a friend knocked on the door and when there was no answer, broke in.

She found the bodies of the mother, in her 40s, and two teenage daughters.

Police say they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the deaths.

Neighbour Patricia Mellon said she had heard that the property had been sold last week for "an enormous amount" less than what it was advertised for to a couple who lived nearby.

Mrs Mellon said the mother kept to herself - she had seen her only once, last week when she was tidying the gardens.

An online advertisement on real estate company Ray White's website says the property was auctioned on April 26.

The 674sq metre, five-bedroom house, across from Crosbie Park and close to Avonhead Mall, has two bathrooms and two car parks. Three of the bedrooms are double rooms, located upstairs, with the master bedroom complete with a wet floor ensuite.

The "modern" kitchen combines with a dining room "that would suit a large family dining table".

"Each room is a pleasant surprise, functional balance of beauty, comfort and convenience," the advert said.

"It's Good Morning Sunshine! in this light and welcoming entrance. Discover the pleasures of family life in this spacious five-bedroom home. An absolute pleasure to present."

One neighbour said the family had lived in the house for about two years.

She had seen the mother once last year when she was fixing the family's letterbox, which had been vandalised.

3 News last night reported that immigration officials visited the property yesterday morning. A spokeswoman for the Immigration Service said any questions should be directed to the police.

Post-mortem examinations on the three bodies were finished today and the deaths have been referred to the coroner.

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