DNA needed to identify human bones under Auckland house

4:53 pm on 4 February 2020

A DNA comparison will be needed to identify the human bones found at an Auckland house, police say.

Police remained at the scene at 3 Marlborough Street yesterday.

Police remained at the scene on Marlborough Street yesterday. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

The bones found last Friday under the Marlborough Street house in Mt Eden were confirmed as human yesterday by a forensic pathologist.

The unidentified person's remains had been uncovered by contractors during renovations at the house.

They said formal identification would require being able to match the remains DNA to a separate sample.

"The obtaining of a DNA profile from the deceased may take a week or two, but identification can only occur if Police and ESR have a comparative DNA sample that the deceased's DNA can be compared to," they said.

"Therefore it could likely be several weeks before the identity of the deceased is known."

Police said the remains were taken from the house to a mortuary late yesterday, for a post mortem examination this morning.

Police remained at the scene at 3 Marlborough Street yesterday.

The house was undergoing renovations when contractors discovered the bones. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

"This is meticulous and challenging work for the Pathologist and their findings are not expected to be available to police for some time," they said.

"Police have also removed a large piece of concrete from the scene, which ESR scientists will continue to examine over the coming days."

They said the investigation would continue to focus on identifying the remains and they remained "open minded" about that, but it was possible the person had died some years ago.

Authorities remain at the scene as they continue to identify and speak to former occupants and residents of the property, thought to be a former boarding house.

Police said they were grateful for the assistance of local kaumātua who were arranging a karakia at the site.

They asked anyone with further information to come forward.