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Headless torso a DNA match to missing Swedish journalist, say Danish police

World News | Published:

Kim Wall was last seen alive on inventor Peter Madsen’s home-build submarine on August 10.

DNA tests on a headless torso found in the Baltic Sea matched missing Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who is believed to have died on an amateur-built submarine that sank earlier this month, Danish police have said.

Ms Wall, 30, was last seen alive on August 10 on Danish inventor Peter Madsen’s submarine, which sank off Denmark’s eastern coast the following day.

The 46-year-old, who was arrested on preliminary manslaughter charges, denies having anything to do with the reporter’s disappearance.

Kim Wall has been missing since August 10 (Tom Wall via AP)
Kim Wall has been missing since August 10 (Tom Wall via AP)

The headless torso was found by a member of the public who was cycling on Copenhagen’s southern Amager island on Monday, near where Ms Wall was believed to have died.

Copenhagen police said on Tuesday that the arms and legs had been “deliberately been cut off” the body.

Police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen told reporters on Wednesday that the body was attached to a piece of metal, “likely with the purpose to make it sink”.

The Danish navy's ship Fyrholmen searches in Koge Bay, south of Copenhagen (Per Rasmussen/AP)
The Danish navy’s ship Fyrholmen searches in Koge Bay, south of Copenhagen (Per Rasmussen/AP)

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The body “washed ashore after having been at sea for a while”, he said.

He added that police found marks on the torso indicating that someone had tried to press air out of the body so it would sink to the bottom and not float.

Dried blood was found inside the submarine which also matched with Ms Wall, he said.

Submarine
Kim Wall is believed to have died on this amateur-built private submarine which sank earlier this month (Jens Dresling/Ritzau Foto via AP)

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“On August 12, we secured a hair brush and a toothbrush to ensure her DNA. We also found blood in the submarine and there is a match,” said Mr Moeller Jensen.

The cause of the journalist’s death is not yet known, police said.

Madsen, who remains in police custody, initially told officers that he had dropped Ms Wall off on a redeveloped island in Copenhagen’s harbour about three-and-a-half hours into a night-time trip and that he did not know what happened to her after that.

But he later told authorities “an accident occurred on board that led to her death” and he “buried” her at sea.

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