Danish police recover woman’s torso as they search for journalist who went missing on submarine ride

Remains recovered near where former SCMP reporter Kim Wall vanished from home-made submarine; arrested inventor says he buried her at sea after an accident

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 August, 2017, 8:04am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 August, 2017, 10:41pm

The body of a woman has been found in the Baltic Sea near where missing Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who once worked for the South China Morning Post, is believed to have died on a privately built submarine, Danish police said late Monday.

A female torso without legs, arms or a head was found by a passer-by, said the head of the investigation, Jens Moller Jensen.

“We have recovered the body ... It is the torso of a woman,” Jensen told reporters. “An inquest will be conducted.”

He said it was “too early” to say if the body was that of 30-year-old Wall, who went missing more than a week ago after a trip on the submarine owned by 46-year-old Peter Madsen, a Danish inventor.

Jensen said the body was discovered hours after Madsen told authorities that Wall had died onboard in an accident and that he buried her at sea at an unspecified location.

Sub inventor dumped body of ex-SCMP reporter in sea after ‘accident’

Madsen was arrested in connection with Wall’s disappearance after his submarine sank off Denmark’s eastern coast, an event police said they suspected the inventor caused on purpose.

He denied any wrongdoing and initially told authorities he had dropped the reporter off on a redeveloped island in Copenhagen’s harbour about 3½ hours into a nighttime trip on August 10.

Madsen will continue to be held on preliminary manslaughter charges, police said. They declined to provide further details about the new information he had provided.

Madsen was known for financing his submarine project through crowdfunding. The first launch of his 40-tonne, 18-metre-long UC3 Nautilus in 2008 made international headlines.

Wall’s family said she had worked in many dangerous places as a journalist and it was unimaginable “something could happen ... just a few miles from the childhood home.”

She worked as an intern and reporter for the South China Morning Post in 2013.

The International Women’s Media Foundation said it was “deeply saddened” to receive apparent confirmation that Wall had died.

“She was dogged in her pursuit of important and sometimes quirky stories. She was adored by those who knew her,” the organisation said in a statement.

Wall was last seen atop the Nautilus submarine on August 10, about to embark on a brief ride in the vessel for a profile about its Danish inventor.

Before his arrest, Madsen appeared on Danish television to discuss the submarine’s sinking and his rescue.

The journalist’s boyfriend alerted authorities that the sub had not returned from a test run, police said.