Danish police find decapitated body in search for missing journalist Kim Wall

Posted at 5:52 AM, Aug 22, 2017

Danish police searching for missing Swedish journalist Kim Wall say they have found a headless torso in Copenhagen.

A passing cyclist found the torso Monday afternoon on the southwest side of Amager island. DNA tests will need to be carried out before the person's identity can be confirmed.

Wall, a freelance journalist, has been missing since August 11 after boarding a privately built submarine along with its inventor, Peter Madsen, for a story she was working on.


"It is clear that the police, like the media and everybody else, is speculating whether this female body is Kim Wall, but it is way too soon to tell," Copenhagen police spokesman Jens Moller told a news conference on Monday.

Police are expected to give more details at a press briefing later Tuesday.

Madsen, who has been charged with manslaughter, told a closed-door court hearing that he buried Wall at sea in an "unspecified place" in Køge Bay, according to a statement published Monday.

Wall, 30, boarded the 17-meter Nautilus submarine on August 10 at Refshaleøen island for a story she was writing about Madsen and the vessel.

Madsen, 46, had originally rejected accusations that he was responsible for Wall's death, claiming he had dropped her off on land later that night, according to a police statement.

Police later said Madsen had provided them with a "different explanation."

The inventor was charged with manslaughter and ordered to be held in custody for 24 days. At the time of Madsen being charged, his lawyer Betina Hald Engmark told Denmark's TV2 that her client "accepts the arrest but still denies the crime."

According to Swedish newspaper and CNN affiliate Expressen, the submarine was found at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 11, 15 hours after it had departed Copenhagen.

Police said there was no trace of Wall when the submarine was found by emergency services.

Wall, a graduate of Columbia University and London School of Economics, was based between Beijing and New York.

Her work appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and TIME among others.


Those who knew Wall have begun to react to the news of her passing.

"What anyone who met her for even a short time knows that her exuberance is (I can't bring myself to write in the past tense) contagious," Valerie Hopkins, who attended graduate school with Wall at Columbia University, wrote on the International Women's Media Foundation website.

"In the four years since we graduated, I have followed her work and marveled [at] how she was able to write stories from so many countries -- from an in-depth look at voodoo in Haiti, to tourism in North Korea, to Idi Amin's legacy in Uganda.

"It shocks me that it was in Denmark, and not in any of those other places, that she met her end."