Everything We Know About Kim Wall, The Swedish Journalist Who Disappeared

The headless torso found in waters off Denmark has been identified as missing Kim Wall, Danish police say.

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The disappearance of a Swedish journalist who vanished after boarding a Danish inventor's submarine took a notably sadder turn yesterday.

On Monday, it was reported that Danish police had identified a headless female torso and, yesterday morning, they confirmed that it belonged to Kim Wall, the missing journalist.

Wall, 30, had been missing since 10 August. She lived in New York and Beijing, her family said, and had written for The New York Times, The Guardian, the South China Morning Post and Vice Magazine, among other publications.

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She was researching a feature about Peter Madsen, a Danish inventor who built his private 40-tonne submarine, UC3 Nautilus, through crowdfunding in 2008.

Wall met Madsen at his Copenhagen submarine dock at around 7pm and she boarded the Nautilus. The last picture of the pair onboard was taken at 8:30pm by a man on a cruise ship, a short time before sunset.

But that was the last time Wall was seen. Her boyfriend reported her missing at 2:30am the following morning after she failed to return home.

A rescue operation was mounted over fears the submarine, which wasn't fitted with tracking devices, may have got into difficulty in the short channel between Copenhagen and Sweden.

A merchant ship claimed to have come within 30m of the sub just miles from where it had set off at midnight and a lighthouse had a confirmed sighting of the sub at 10:30am.

But what happened to the Swedish journalist in the hours before the sub was spotted the following morning remain unclear. As it would be 13 days before she was confirmed dead, the big questions still remain.

Madsen was charged with manslaughter last week.

Initially, he gave a statement claiming to have dropped Wall off in a remote area of the shore, a short while after he had picked her up.

But restaurant owner Bo Petersen said the area was well covered by CCTV and he handed the video footage to police, with the tapes apparently showing no sign of Wall being deposited on the shore.

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The footage hasn't been released, so we don't know exactly what it did show in it, but police said after a hearing on 12 August that Madsen had given them a new account of events.

He then told a court hearing that Wall had died in an accident and that he had 'buried' her at sea.

Madsen's updated account appeared to raise more questions than it answered: If there had been an accident, why didn't he call the police? And why wouldn't he bring her body to shore?

On Monday, a cyclist passing the water's edge south-west of the island of Amager discovered a torso missing the head, arms and legs.

Two days later, police said DNA taken from Wall's toothbrush and hairbrush matched the remains.

'We also found blood in the submarine and there is a match,' officer Moeller Jensen said.

Police said a piece of metal was attached to her body 'likely with the purpose to make it sink', and injuries she had suffered appeared to suggest that air had been forced out of her body.

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Madsen's defense lawyer said her client still maintains that he didn't kill Wall, and that the discovery of her torso doesn't mean he's guilty.

'It doesn't change my client's explanation that an accident happened,' Betina Hald Engmark told Danish BT tabloid, adding 'no matter what, we find it very positive that she has been found now.'

According to her friend and fellow journalist Victoria Greve, writing in the Swedish daily Expressen, Wall had signed a lease for a studio apartment in Beijing.

'There's a dark irony in Kim, who traveled to North Korea and reported from Haiti, should disappear in Denmark,' she wrote. 'Perhaps it speaks to the vulnerability of female freelance journalists. To work alone and do everything. Kim can photograph and shoot film as a complement to the texts.'

Wall's family said that 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.'

Many journalists, however, have criticised the way the media has reported the story.

The New York Times and Radio 4 compared Wall's death to the TV crime series The Bridge, in which 'the first season of that show begins with the discovery of a mutilated female body.'

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While many have quite rightly pointed out this isn't some 'wacky human interest story', a female journalist has been found dead.

Copenhagen police are urging people who have travelled with Mr Madsen before to explain what the goings-on of those trips.

In an email to The Associated Press, Wall's family said it received the confirmation of her death 'with boundless sadness and dismay,' adding 'the tragedy has hit not only us and other families, but friends and colleagues all over the world.'

Additional reporting from Associated Press

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