3 Korean Women Found Dead In Christchurch Tragedy – Updated

5 May News reports are saying that three women were found dead in a house in Christchurch at 10.30 this morning.

Police haven’t released any details about how the women died at the house in Apsley Drive, Avonhead but initial reports are that they’re not looking for anyone in connection with the deaths.

One radio report said that police at the house had opened up all the doors and windows.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased.


As the day progressed more emerged about the tragic incident. The three women were later named as Sung Eun Cho, 43, Yeon Jae Baek, 17, known as Holly, and Yeon Sue Baek, 13, known as Kelly, the girls were students at St Andrew’s College. 3News also said that the property had been visited this morning by immigration officials:

A spokeswoman for the Immigration Service declined to comment tonight and said any questions should be directed to police.”

The house where the bodies was found had a “sold” real estate sign displayed outside.

According to the Ray White web site the property was recently sold at auction on 26 April. The property was described as follows:

“Its “Good Morning Sunshine!” in this light and welcoming entrance. Discover the pleasures of family life in this spacious five bedroom home. Three double bedrooms upstairs plus a full bathroom. Of the two bedrooms downstairs, one is the master bedroom with a wet floor ensuite and the other bedroom could be a large office. The modern kitchen combines with a dining room that would suit a large family dining table. Located across from Crosbie Park and close to Avonhead Mall.”

The house was also listed on Trade Me

Gas appliances could not be seen on any of the promotional photographs of the property, its sole source of combustion heating appeared to be a log burner in the open plan dining room, that’s  in addition to a  heat pump / air conditioner. However, it may be possible that the family was using a free standing gas heater which is a common form of heating in many homes in New Zealand.

Update 10 May – The body of a Korean man found in a public place in Avonhead yesterday morning has been confirmed as that of Young Jin Baek, husband of Sung Eun Cho. Police are not looking for anyone in connection with his death. (source)

What a terrible tragedy, our deepest sympathies are extended to the communities that knew this lovely family. There has been much speculation about the cause of the mother and daughter’s deaths and why Immigration officials were due to visit them on the day their bodies were found. No doubt the truth may come out at the inquest, if it is ever held.

4 thoughts on “3 Korean Women Found Dead In Christchurch Tragedy – Updated

  1. I have been urged by Kiwis to buy one of those gas heaters, but I have heard too many bad things about them to want to use one. One problem is that people are being encouraged to tighten up the cracks that let all that cold air into their homes. But they still use these gas heaters, which produce a poor air quality indoors, so they are just trapping the carbon monoxide inside their homes, and sometimes they die in their sleep.

    • hey Wilma, just in response to your comments in regards to freestanding unflued gas appliances, you’re absolutely right. I worked in the gas industry for 10 years, and basically NZ is one of the few countries where these unflued heaters are still legal. If you’ve ever sat in a room with a gas heater burning, and you would almost certainly have experienced nodding off at some point, that’s when the carbon monoxide levels are high, and you’re being affected by that. Anybody using these gas heaters are urged to always keep adequate ventilation, windows ajar etc.
      For every litre of gas you burn, that is equivalent to 1 litre of condensation being released into your home. If you have a flued gas heater then you won’t have that problem.
      Gas is soo expensive in NZ anyway, don’t know why someone would go for that option over there.

  2. I would like to express my personal condolence to Young Jin Baek for his sudden, great loss. I knew Holly, Kelly and their Mum when they bought one of my Golden Retrievers – Hana. The girls loved Hana and their Mum did a fantastic job training Hana to be a bi -lingual dog “Unja and iddiway” will never be quite the same for me now. I always admired them for their steadfast care of Hana and for their concern that Hana come back to me when they returned to Korea for a prolonged stay. A beautiful family that will be missed by all those who knew them.

    • We were shocked to hear of Young Jin Baek’s death Yolande, it’s an absolute tragedy that has touched the lives of so many people.

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