By JAN M. OLSEN
HELSINKI (AP) — Danish police say they have not found the body of a missing Swedish journalist inside an amateur-built submarine that sank off Denmark’s eastern coast last week.
Copenhagen police spokesman Jens Moller Jensen said Sunday that investigators uncovered no trace of 30-year-old freelance journalist Kim Wall in the UC3 Nautilus sub after it was raised and transported for investigation Saturday.
Police will continue to search for Wall in the waters near the island in Copenhagen’s harbor where the sub’s owner Peter Madsen said he dropped her off late Thursday.
Madsen, 40, made a last-minute escape from the sinking sub and has denied any responsibility on the fate of Wall. He was arrested Friday on preliminary manslaughter charges.
Moller Jensen said there are indications that the Danish inventor deliberately sank the 40-ton, 60-foot-long submarine.
Madsen was ordered held in pre-trial detention for 24 days while police investigate Wall’s disappearance. The inventor says the journalist disembarked before his vessel went down.
Madsen’s defense lawyer, Bettina Hald Engmark, said her client maintains his innocence. He is “willing to cooperate” and hasn’t decided whether to appeal the detention ruling, Hald Engmark said.
Prosecutor Louise Pedersen said Madsen faces the preliminary manslaughter charge “for having killed in an unknown way and in an unknown place Kim Isabell Frerika Wall of Sweden sometime after Thursday 5 p.m.”
Wall’s boyfriend alerted authorities early Friday that the sub had not returned to Copenhagen as expected. The Danish Navy launched a major search involving two helicopters, three ships and several private boats.
Kristian Isbak, who had responded to the Navy’s call to help locate the ship on Friday, told The Associated Press he spotted Madsen standing in the submarine’s tower while it was still afloat.
“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 said. “(He) came up again and stayed in the tower until water came into it” before swimming to a nearby boat as the submarine sank, he added.
A salvage vessel on Saturday raised the submarine, which was 22 feet under water off Copenhagen’s south island of Dragoer. The submarine was brought up four miles off the coast and is expected to be transported to land at some point.
In theory, the Nautilus can dive up to 1,550 feet but has rarely gone deeper than 132 feet, according to Madsen’s business web site.
Madsen told authorities he had dropped Wall off on an island in Copenhagen’s harbor a few hours into their Thursday night trip.
The Sweden-born freelance journalist studied at the Sorbonne university in Paris, the London School of Economics and at Columbia University in New York, where she graduated with a master’s degree in journalism in 2013.
She lived in New York and Peking, her family said, and had written for The New York Times, The Guardian, the South China Morning Post and Vice Magazine, among other publications.
If tried and found guilty, Madsen would face between five years and life in prison.
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