Danish police identify torso as missing submarine journalist Kim Wall

COPENHAGEN, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Police on Wednesday identified a headless female torso washed ashore in Copenhagen as that of Swedish reporter Kim Wall, who they believe was killed by a Danish inventor on board his home-made submarine.

Wall, who was researching a story on inventor Peter Madsen, went missing after he took her out to sea in his 17-meter (56-foot) submarine on Aug. 10. He denies killing her, saying she died in an accident.

SEE EARLIER: Danish police: Headless torso could belong to submarine journalist

Announcing the results of tests on the torso, discovered by a passing cyclist on Monday, police spokesman Jens Moller said it had suffered damage suggesting "an attempt to make sure air and gas inside should leave the body so that it would not rise from the seabed."

He added: "There was also some metal attached to the body, allegedly also to make sure the body would sink to the bottom."

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Danish inventor charged with killing journalist on his submarine -- Peter Madsen and Kim Wall
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Danish inventor charged with killing journalist on his submarine -- Peter Madsen and Kim Wall
A photo of Swedish journalist Kim Wall who was aboard a submarine "UC3 Nautilus" before it sank. TT NEWS AGENCY/ Tom Wall Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES. MANDATORY CREDIT
Members of the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) assist police in the search in the Kim Wall case at Kalvebod Faelled in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 23, 2017. Scanpix Denmark/Martin Sylvest/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. DENMARK OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN DENMARK.
The home-made submarine "UC3 Nautilus", built by Danish inventor Peter Madsen, who is charged with killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall in his submarine, sails in the harbour of Copenhagen, Denmark, August 10, 2017. Picture taken August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Thompson
Danish submarine owner and inventor Peter Madsen lands with the help of the Danish defence in Dragor Harbor south of Copenhagen, Denmark August 11, 2017. Scanpix Denmark/Bax Lindhardt/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. DENMARK OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN DENMARK.
The home-made submarine "UC3 Nautilus", built by Danish inventor Peter Madsen, who is charged with killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall in his submarine, sails in the harbour of Copenhagen, Denmark, August 10, 2017. Picture taken August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Thompson
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - AUGUST 12: A salvage vessel arrives a Copenhagen Harbor with the privately owned and built submarine, Nautilus, which sank near Copenhagen Friday morning, and where the suspected murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall is assumed to have taken place, on August 12, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The submarine sailed out of Copenhagen harbor Thursday evening with owner Peter Madsen and Kim Wall onboard. Later the submarine sank in 7 metres of water. Peter Madsen was safely rescued but the Swedish journalist was missing and Madsen was subsequently arrested by the police and charged for murder. Madsen claimed that the woman was put ashore before the submarine sank. Madsen appeared for a preliminary examination at the Copenhagen Court Saturday afternoon. Police are now to investigate the submarine, which is built by Madsen himself. The Swedish journalist is still being searched for by the police. Her identity was released Saturday by her family to Danish broadcaster TV2.(Photo by Ole Jensen - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Peter Madsen, Danish inventor, engineer, rocket- and u-boat builder, talks about entrepreneurship during Danish Business Day event held in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 9, 2017. Scanpix Denmark/Ida Marie Odgaard/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. DENMARK OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN DENMARK.
A unit of the Swedish Sea Rescue Society searches for the missing swedish journalist Kim Wall, at the Lundakra Bay between Barsebaeck and Landskrona on August 15, 2017. The Swedish journalist is missing after a trip with Danish inventor Peder Madsen's DIY submarine Nautilus in Oresund. / AFP PHOTO / TT News Agency / Johan NILSSON / Sweden OUT (Photo credit should read JOHAN NILSSON/AFP/Getty Images)
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK -AUGUST 13: The privately owned submarine, Nautilus, which is the suspected crime scene for the assumed murder on Swedish journalist Kim Wall, arrives to it's destination where further forensic police investigation wil take place near Copenhagen harbor on August 13, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The submarine sailed out of Copenhagen harbor Thursday evening with owner Peter Madsen and Kim Wall onboard. Later the submarine sank in 8 meters water. Peter Madsen was safely rescued but the Swedish journalist was missing and Madsen was subsequently arrested by the police and charged for murder. Madsen claimed that the woman was put ashore before the submarine sank. Madsen appeared for a preliminary examination at the Copenhagen Court Saturday afternoon. Police are now to investigate the submarine, which is built by Madsen himself. The Swedish journalist is still being searched for by the police. Her identity was released Saturday by her family to Danish broadcaster TV2.(Photo by Ole Jensen - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK -AUGUST 13: Police begin their forensic investigation work on the privately owned submarine, Nautilus, which is the suspected crime scene for the assumed murder on Swedish journalist Kim Wall on August 13, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The submarine sailed out of Copenhagen harbor Thursday evening with owner Peter Madsen and Kim Wall onboard. Later the submarine sank in 8 meters water. Peter Madsen was safely rescued but the Swedish journalist was missing and Madsen was subsequently arrested by the police and charged for murder. Madsen claimed that the woman was put ashore before the submarine sank. Madsen appeared for a preliminary examination at the Copenhagen Court Saturday afternoon. Police are now to investigate the submarine, which is built by Madsen himself. The Swedish journalist is still being searched for by the police. Her identity was released Saturday by her family to Danish broadcaster TV2.(Photo by Ole Jensen - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Danish submarine owner and inventor Peter Madsen lands with the help of the Danish defence in Dragor Harbor south of Copenhagen, Denmark August 11, 2017. Picture taken August 11, 2017. Scanpix Denmark/Bax Lindhardt/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. DENMARK OUT.
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK -AUGUST 13: The privately owned submarine, Nautilus, which is the suspected crime scene for the assumed murder on Swedish journalist Kim Wall, is carried out of Copenhagen harbor on a truck for further forensic police investigation taking place near the harbor on August 13, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The submarine sailed out of Copenhagen harbor Thursday evening with owner Peter Madsen and Kim Wall onboard. Later the submarine sank in 8 meters water. Peter Madsen was safely rescued but the Swedish journalist was missing and Madsen was subsequently arrested by the police and charged for murder. Madsen claimed that the woman was put ashore before the submarine sank. Madsen appeared for a preliminary examination at the Copenhagen Court Saturday afternoon. Police are now to investigate the submarine, which is built by Madsen himself. The Swedish journalist is still being searched for by the police. Her identity was released Saturday by her family to Danish broadcaster TV2.(Photo by Ole Jensen - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK -AUGUST 13: The privately owned submarine, Nautilus, which is the suspected crime scene for the assumed murder on Swedish journalist Kim Wall, is carried out of Copenhagen harbor on a truck for further forensic police investigation taking place near the harbor on August 13, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The submarine sailed out of Copenhagen harbor Thursday evening with owner Peter Madsen and Kim Wall onboard. Later the submarine sank in 8 meters water. Peter Madsen was safely rescued but the Swedish journalist was missing and Madsen was subsequently arrested by the police and charged for murder. Madsen claimed that the woman was put ashore before the submarine sank. Madsen appeared for a preliminary examination at the Copenhagen Court Saturday afternoon. Police are now to investigate the submarine, which is built by Madsen himself. The Swedish journalist is still being searched for by the police. Her identity was released Saturday by her family to Danish broadcaster TV2.(Photo by Ole Jensen - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK -AUGUST 13: The privately owned submarine, Nautilus, which is the suspected crime scene for the assumed murder on Swedish journalist Kim Wall, arrives to it's destination where further forensic police investigation wil take place near Copenhagen harbor on August 13, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The submarine sailed out of Copenhagen harbor Thursday evening with owner Peter Madsen and Kim Wall onboard. Later the submarine sank in 8 meters water. Peter Madsen was safely rescued but the Swedish journalist was missing and Madsen was subsequently arrested by the police and charged for murder. Madsen claimed that the woman was put ashore before the submarine sank. Madsen appeared for a preliminary examination at the Copenhagen Court Saturday afternoon. Police are now to investigate the submarine, which is built by Madsen himself. The Swedish journalist is still being searched for by the police. Her identity was released Saturday by her family to Danish broadcaster TV2.(Photo by Ole Jensen - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
A unit of the Swedish Sea Rescue Society searches for the missing swedish journalist, Kim Wall, at the Lundakra Bay, between Barsebaeck and Landskrona, on August 15, 2017. The Swedish journalist is missing after a trip with Danish inventor Peder Madsen's DIY submarine Nautilus in Oresund. / AFP PHOTO / TT News Agency / Johan NILSSON / Sweden OUT (Photo credit should read JOHAN NILSSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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The arms, legs and head had been sawn from the body. Analysis showed a match with Wall's DNA, which the police had gathered from a toothbrush and a hairbrush, and with blood found in the submarine, Moller said.

Police still do not know the cause of death, and divers are searching for more body parts.

Madsen, 46, is charged with manslaughter, which carries a sentence of between five years and life in prison. His lawyer Betina Hald Engmark told Reuters he was maintaining his innocence and sticking to his account that Wall's death was accidental.

The macabre case has riveted Swedish and Danish media, and made headlines around the world.

"It is with boundless sadness and dismay we received the message that the remains of our daughter and sister Kim Wall have been found," Wall's mother Ingrid Wall said on Facebook.

"During the horrendous days that have passed since Kim disappeared, we have received countless evidence of how loved and appreciated she was, both as a person and friend and as a professional journalist. From all corners of the world comes proof of Kim as a person who made a difference."

Madsen has told a court that following the alleged accident, he "buried" Wall at sea - changing his initial statement to police that he dropped her off alive in Copenhagen.

A day after taking Wall out on his UC3 Nautilus submarine, the inventor was rescued after the vessel sank. Police found nobody else on board.

The submarine is one of three constructed by Madsen and one of the largest privately built ones in the world. It can carry eight people and weighs 40 tonnes when fully equipped.

 

'ROCKET MADSEN'

Madsen was already well known in Denmark as an entrepreneur and aerospace engineer, as well as for his submarines. He founded the association Copenhagen Suborbitals, with the goal of sending a person into space in a home-built rocket, and wrote a blog under the nickname 'Rocket Madsen'.

"He is not violent, he does not drink, does not do drugs," Thomas Djursing, who wrote a book about him, told Danish tabloid B.T. earlier this month. "On the other hand, he quarrels with everyone and I have argued with him too. But that is how it often is with people who are deeply driven by a passion."

Wall, 30, was a freelance journalist whose work had appeared in Harper's Magazine, The Guardian, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, the South China Morning Post, The Atlantic and TIME.

Originally from Sweden, she held degrees from New York's Columbia University and the London School of Economics and was based between New York and Beijing. She had written about topics ranging from gender and social justice to pop culture and foreign policy, according to her LinkedIn profile.

She had also received training in hostile environments and emergency first-aid, she said on the profile.

Her mother said she had uncovered stories all over the world. "She gave a voice to the weak, the vulnerable and marginalized people. That voice would have been needed for a long, long time. Now it won't be so." (Additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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