A headless torso found on a beach along the Copenhagen shoreline has been identified as part of the remains of the Swedish journalist who went missing two weeks ago. This grisly discovery of a torso without a head, arms, or legs, was traced to Kim Wall, 30, through the use of DNA matching.
Wall had left port on August 10, in a 17-foot homemade submarine, with its inventor, Peter Madsen. This was the last time she was seen alive. Madsen was plucked from the waters off Copenhagen after the homemade submarine sunk. The 54-year-old inventor gave conflicting stories on the whereabouts of Wall, which created suspicion for authorities.
The headless torso was found in shallow water along the beach by a passing cyclist. The torso had a piece of metal attached to it in what appears to be an attempt to sink the remains.
According to Fox News on the air today, the submarine, which was raised by maritime authorities and investigated, was found to have blood inside. They also said that it appeared as if all the air in the torso that was discovered had been deliberately pressed out of the remains, which was also another detail NPR News reported below.
The medical examiner did an autopsy on the torso and Copenhagen police revealed the rather gruesome findings in a press release. According to the medical examiner, “the body bears the mark of having, most likely, been inflicted deliberate damage with the purpose of ensuring that gasses can pass out of the body — possibly in an attempt to avoid that a body rises from the seabed,” writes NPR.
When Madsen was rescued after his sub had gone down, he told police a few different stories on what happened to Wall. He said Wall was not with him on the sub when it sank. Police took him into custody and charged him in connection with Wall’s death because of the conflicting stories he gave. He was in custody when Wall’s torso was found.
First, Madsen said he had dropped Wall off in port before heading back out where the sub ran into trouble and sunk to the bottom of the sea. He later changed his story to say that Wall had died in an unspecified accident on board the vessel and he buried her at sea, somewhere in the Bay of Koge.
Wall, who is a freelance journalist with past stories featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, and other popular publications, was shadowing Madsen while she did a story on the homemade sub this inventor had created. Often called “Rocket Madsen,” this inventor had dreams of sending a rocket into space. He is famous for his invention of three personal submarines, which have made him headline news in the past.
When the two shipped out on board that sub, the Nautilus, on August 10, the last known photo of the missing, now dead journalist, was taken on board the sub as it left port. That photo can be seen below in the embedded Twitter post.
According to Fox News on Wednesday afternoon, police have evidence suggesting that Madsen deliberately sank the sub after Wall was dead. When investigators had the sub raised, there were no remains found in the sub, but blood was discovered. That blood also matched Wall’s DNA.
The police report that the head, arms, and legs had been deliberately cut off the torso, but Madsen’s lawyer said that her client continues to claim he is innocent and that Wall died in an accident on board that sub, according to BBC News. Betina Hald Engmark, Madsen’s lawyer, said that the fact that the torso was found does not change her client’s plea. She said that her client was “very relieved” the torso had been found and identified.
According to NPR, the lead investigator on this case is Jens Møller Jensen. He said in a statement released on Tuesday, “Naturally, the DNA match is a relatively large break through in the investigation which will now continue until we have built all possible information in the case.”
Kim Wall’s worked out of Brooklyn, New York, but she was in her own backyard while doing a story on Madsen. She was born and raised in the area where the sub went down, a point her mother made when she first went missing.
According to the BBC, when a case such as this one comes into play, police revisit cold cases to see if any of the factors resemble ones in other unsolved cases. One of the cases the police are looking into today occurred back in 1986. A torso was found floating in the Copenhagen Harbor, which sounds similar to the Kim Wall case. The torso belonged to a missing Japanese woman and this is a case that has never been solved.
[Featured Image by Niels Hougaard/AP Images]