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Missing Journalist's Body Identified After Bizarre Submarine Incident

Danish police have found part of Kim Wall's body near Copenhagen's coast after a local inventor admitted she died onboard his homemade vessel and that he "buried her at sea."
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US

Police in Denmark announced Wednesday that a torso found off the coast of Copenhagen this week was that of Kim Wall, a Swedish freelance journalist who disappeared after a doomed submarine ride with a local inventor, the New York Times reports.

Wall was reporting on amateur inventor Peter Madsen when the two boarded his homemade submarine on August 10. The next day, the boat had sunk—and though Madsen had swum to safety, Wall was nowhere to be found. Police have been searching for her body ever since.


A cyclist discovered her torso—headless and missing its arms and legs—on the bank of Copenhagen's Amager Island on Monday. DNA testing confirmed the body, which police said had been weighed down with a piece of metal, belonged to the journalist.

"We consider this a breakthrough in the investigation," Jens Moller, Copenhagen's chief homicide investigator, told the Times. "But we continue to search for the missing body parts."

Madsen originally told investigators that he let Wall off his homemade submarine the night of August 10, dropping her at the port of Copenhagen the night before it sank. After police arrested him on preliminary charges of involuntary manslaughter, Madsen changed his story, saying Wall had died in an accident onboard and that he threw her body into the water and "buried her at sea," according to the Copenhagen Police. Investigators have since found coagulated blood onboard Madsen's sunken vessel, and believe the boat was downed deliberately.

Wall covered a host of global stories for various renowned publications, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Harper's. For VICE, she wrote about a wave of Chinese investors who flooded into East Africa and turned a Ugandan mall into the nucleus of their operations, among other stories. She planned to move to Beijing, China, with her boyfriend before the accident, according to the Times.

"It is with boundless sorrow and dismay that we received the news that the remains of our daughter and sister Kim Wall have been found," Wall's mother, Ingrid, wrote on Facebook. "The scale of the disaster is not yet fully transparent, and there are still a number of questions to be answered."

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