Dead Christchurch mother and daughters named

05:49, May 06 2010
Scene of triple fatality, Avonhead
TRIPLE FATALITY: Police at the scene of an Avonhead, Christchurch house, where the bodies of a woman and two girls aged 17 and 13, were found yesterday.

Police have released the names of a Korean woman and her two teenage daughters found dead in a Christchurch house yesterday.

They were Sung Eun Cho, 43, Yeon Jae Baek, 17, known as Holly, and Yeon Sue Baek, 13, known as Kelly.

After the mother failed to keep an appointment police found the bodies at an Apsley Drive home in the suburb of Avonhead at about 10.30am yesterday.

The matter has been referred to the coroner and post mortem examinations were completed today.

Detective Senior Sergeant Virginia Le Bas said police could not comment on the circumstances of the deaths as it was now before the coroner.

It was reported last night that immigration officials had visited the property yesterday morning, but a spokeswoman for the Immigration Service declined to comment.

Christchurch Korean Society president Kevin Park said today he did not believe the deaths were related to financial pressure or immigration issues.

"Not at all, I think, because I believe they have lived in New Zealand for about five or six years," he told NZPA.

"I don't think they have financial problems, but they have been isolated for so long."

The woman's separation from her husband, who lives in Korea, may have led to conflict between the couple and exacerbated the family's isolation, Mr Park said.

"It's a very isolated situation for some families," he said.

"Some Korean families come from Korea to educate their children here and have trouble if they don't have contact people or they don't have good neighbours."

The girls were pupils of St Andrews College in the city.

Mr Park said the Korean embassy had contacted the husband, who was coming to New Zealand "as fast as he can" and could be in the country as early as tomorrow.

"I think he will be leaving today from Korea."

Ms Le Bas said police had also contacted friends and associates of the women in both Korea and New Zealand.

Mr Park expressed his deep condolences to the family for their loss.

"I think all the Korean families in Christchurch are shocked at the news. It's very sad and tragic."

Their large brick house had been on the market since November with an asking price of $657,000 and recently sold for about $100,000 below that price, a neighbour told The Press newspaper.