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Danish submarine Nautilus in Copenhagen during the search Peter Thompson/DPA/PA Images
submarine investigation

Torso of journalist was tied to metal object to weigh it down, police say

Police have said Kim Wall’s arms, legs and head had been “deliberately cut off”.

Updated at 10.30am

THE HEADLESS TORSO of a woman found floating at sea is that of a Swedish journalist who authorities believe died aboard a Danish inventor’s homemade submarine, police said today.

“The DNA of the torso matches that of Kim Wall,” Copenhagen police announced on Twitter.

Inventor Peter Madsen has been accused of the negligent manslaughter of 30-year-old Kim Wall as she interviewed him aboard his 60-foot submarine on 10 August.

She had been missing since then.

The female torso, with the head and limbs deliberately cut off, was found on Monday in Koge Bay, around 50 kilometres south of Copenhagen.

Copenhagen homicide chief Jens Moller Jensen told a news conference there were injuries to the torso which appeared to suggest that air had been forced out of it.

He also said the torso had been attached to a metal object which was likely intended to weigh it down.

Police are still searching for the remaining body parts.

The cause of death was still unknown, Jensen added.

Blood in the submarine

Police also said they had found her blood inside the submarine.

“We secured a hairbrush and a toothbrush to confirm her DNA. We found blood in the submarine and it was a match,” Jensen said.

Wall, a freelance journalist who had reported for The Guardian and The New York Times, has not been seen since boarding Madsen’s submarine on 10 August.

Her boyfriend reported her missing a day later. The same day, Madsen was rescued from waters between Denmark and Sweden shortly before his submarine sank.

Madsen, whose website describes him as an “inventepreneur”, initially told authorities he dropped Wall off on an island late on the evening of 10 August.

But he changed his story several days later when he appeared in court, saying Wall had died in an accident on board and that he dumped the body at sea at an undefined location in Koge Bay.

‘Endless sorrow’

Police have since said they believe Madsen, 46, “deliberately” sank the sub. It was brought to the surface and searched, but found to be empty.

Madsen has been in custody since 12 August suspected of negligent manslaughter, but Jensen said today the formal charge could change following the latest developments.

A graduate of Columbia School of Journalism, Wall was based between New York and China.

Her friends have described her as “invincible”, “ambitious” and as “seeing something good in everyone”, according to Swedish media reports.

“It is with endless sorrow and dismay that we have received the news that the remains of our daughter and sister have been found,” Wall’s mother Ingrid wrote in a Facebook post today.

Wall had covered news about earthquake-hit areas in Haiti, Idi Amin’s torture chambers in Uganda and minefields in Sri Lanka.

“She gave voice to the weak, to the vulnerable and marginalised people,” her mother wrote.

“That voice would have been needed much, much longer. But now that will not be so.”

© AFP 2017

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