Danish submarine inventor Peter Madsen said that missing journalist Kim Wall died in an accident aboard his submarine, and that he then buried her at sea, according to Danish police.
Authorities say the Danish 46-year-old aerospace engineer previously lied about what happened and had denied he was in any way related to her disappearance, according to Fox News.
30-year-old Swedish freelance journalist Kim Wall was last seen by people off the coast of Copenhagen on Aug. 10. Her boyfriend reported her missing on Aug. 11.
Madsen’s previous story was that he dropped Wall off on an island off Copenhagen before the submarine sank. He said that the submarine malfunctioned, but authorities have indicated Wall may have died of a different cause. Authorities retrieved the submarine on Aug. 11. but have yet to find Wall’s body.
The Associated Press interviewed a boater who said he saw the submarine floating in a nearby bay on the morning of Aug. 11 and saw Madsen in the tower of the sub.
“He then climbed down inside the submarine and there was then some kind of air flow coming up and the submarine started to sink,” Isbak told AP. “[He] came up again and stayed in the tower until water came into it.”
Madsen then reportedly swam to a nearby boat as the sub sank. Police think he may have purposely sunk the submarine to hide evidence in Kim Wall’s death.
The 60-foot UC3 Nautilus was once the largest homemade submarine ever made. Wall was working on a feature story about Madsen and his creation at the time. She worked out of Brooklyn and wrote for publications such the New York Times, the Guardian, and Vice magazine. Her Swedish family laments that she came closer to her native Scandinavia only to lose her life, The Guardian reported.
“There’s a dark irony in Kim, who traveled to North Korea and reported from Haiti, should disappear in Denmark,” wrote Ms. Greve about the young journalist, in an quote translated by The New York Times.
The courts will allow authorities to hold Madsen a total of 24 days while Swedish and Danish authorities continue their investigation. Madsen is being held on preliminary charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Because the courts have partially lifted a closed door policy on the case, some information is coming out.
“The defendant has explained to the police and the Court, that there was an accident on board which caused Kim Wall’s death and that he consequently buried her at sea at a non-defined location in the Bay of Køge.”