Denmark identifies female torso as reporter missing from submarine



STOCKHOLM, Lennart Simonsson (dpa) - Danish police Wednesday reported "a breakthrough" in the probe into the disappearance of Swedish reporter Kim Wall after DNA tests showed that a female torso found this week was hers.
The limbs and head of the torso were missing, and police said they were "deliberately cut off."
The human remains were found Monday in waters off the coast of Copenhagen, the capital, and have undergone an autopsy.



The autopsy had been "long and complicated due to the absence of limbs," Jens Moller Jensen of the Copenhagen police, who is leading the probe, told reporters.
"It appears that there are injuries on the torso aimed at securing that air and gases would be released to ensure that the body would not float to the surface," he added.
Metal had also been used to weigh down the body, he said.
Wall, 30, was last seen on the evening of August 10 on an amateur-built Danish submarine belonging to Peter Madsen as it left Copenhagen harbour.
A search was mounted for the submarine early August 11 when Wall was reported missing. Later that same day, Madsen was rescued by a private boat owner in the Bay of Koge, south of Copenhagen, shortly before he "deliberately" scuttled the vessel, according to police.
The 18-metre UC3 Nautilus was recovered the day after.
The torso's DNA matched DNA from a hairbrush and toothbrush used by Wall, and there was also a match with blood found in the submarine, Moller Jesen said.
Madsen has said she died after an "accident" on board and that he buried her at sea.
Moller Jensen said Wednesday that police have not been able to establish how Wall died.
Madsen is suspected of manslaughter in connection with Wall's disappearance. He was remanded in pretrial detention on August 12 during a closed door hearing.
His attorney said Wednesday that the DNA match of the headless torso does not change Madsen's account.
"That there was a DNA match does not change my client's explanation that there was an accident," attorney Betina Hald Engmark said, according to Danish tabloid BT.
She and her client welcomed the fact that the remains had been identified.
Moller Madsen said it was too early to comment on a possible motive. Other test results were pending, including some on Madsen's clothes.
The charges against Madsen could subsequently be revised.
A week ago, prosecutors added "aggravated" to the involuntary manslaughter charge.
Madsen initially claimed he had dropped off Wall late August 10 on an island in Copenhagen harbour, but later changed his account, police said.
Wall, a freelancer, was reportedly writing an article on Madsen at the time of her disappearance. Madsen is also known for designing rockets, a hobby that earned him the nickname "Rocket Madsen" in Danish media.
A voluntary group linked to his rocket programme announced it would disband, and support the organization Reporters Without Borders.
A search operation continued near the location where the remains were discovered Monday, including on the shoreline and with nets in the water.
The family of Swedish reporter Kim Wall expressed "boundless grief" after receiving the news of her death.
"We can't fathom the scope of the disaster, and many questions remain to be answered," Wall's mother Ingrid Wall, wrote on Facebook.
Ingrid Wall said that the family had received numerous messages of support during the days that passed since Kim Wall disappeared, showing "how loved and appreciated she was, as a person and a professional reporter."
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Wednesday, August 23rd 2017
Lennart Simonsson
           


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