The father of a child missing for seven years and who murder charges have now been laid over had hired a private investigator to find her but did not contact police, an officer says.
Police have charged a man with the murders of a woman and child about seven years ago, and are excavating a site in Auckland where remains have been found.
The 41-year-old appeared at the Manukau District Court briefly this morning, where his lawyer Martin Hislop said family overseas were yet to be told of the arrest.
Judge Gregory Hikaka granted name suppression and remanded the man in custody.
The charges were in relation to the deaths of Mubarak Yusef, who was also known as Pakeeza Faizal, and her daughter Juwairiyah Kalim, known as Jojo, believed to be three years old when she died.
They are alleged to have been killed in late December 2006 to early 2007 in Howick. The man was known to both victims but is not the child's father.
Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said Jojo's father did not have custody at the time his daughter disappeared.
"He had made quite exhaustive inquiries and had gone to the extent of hiring a private investigator but was unable to locate her," he said.
"But certainly dad had made a lot of inquiries to find Jojo over the years but I don't know why he didn't report it to police."
Ms Faizal's mother reported her daughter and granddaughter missing in January 2013, sparking an investigation which culminated in human remains being located under the Takapuna Landing Bridge on Saturday.
The remains were removed earlier this evening but officers were still examining the site, Mr Lynch said.
Swampy conditions had made the job difficult, and specialist teams were likely to be at the scene for the next two days.
"It's quite close to the tidal basin there. The mud is all quite gluggy and it will take some time to do a thorough examination there and we're also going to have to sift through all mud," he said.
A 64-year-old South Auckland man, who is related to the 41-year-old, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact to both deaths.