Kim Wall died in accident on board submarine: Peter Madsen

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Kim Wall died in accident on board submarine: Peter Madsen
Peter Madsen speaks to police shortly after his rescue on August 11th. Photo: Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix

Submarine owner Peter Madsen, who is charged with causing the death of missing journalist Kim Wall, now says he buried her at sea after she died on board, Copenhagen Police have confirmed.


“The accused has told police and the court that an accident occurred on board the submarine which caused Kim Wall’s death, and that he subsequently buried her at sea at an unspecified location somewhere in Køge Bay. Copenhagen Police can additionally confirm that the current charges remain in place. No further information will be given with regard to the investigation of the case, since it is being conducted behind closed doors,” the police statement read.

The information was approved for release by Copenhagen City Court following a request from the prosecution authority, according to the police statement.

Both Swedish and Danish marine authorities have now mapped out a detailed track of the route taken by the submarine in the Öresund Strait and Køge Bay on the evening of Thursday August 10th, when Madsen’s NC3 Nautilus submarine disappeared, through to it being relocated at 10:14am the following day, police also confirmed.

The search for Wall’s body by both Danish and Swedish authorities is continuing on Monday.

Divers from the Danish side of the investigation began on Friday searching along the route mapped by the investigation and will continue with this work today, according to the statement.

Investigation over the weekend has involved the use of sonar trackers as well as helicopters and boats. 

Freelance journalist Wall vanished after having boarded the 18-metre UC3 Nautilus sub on the evening of August 10th, apparently as part of her work on a feature story about its owner, inventor and entrepreneur Peter Madsen.

Madsen was brought back alone to a harbour on Copenhagen on Friday after the vessel sank in waters near Køge Bay.

The submarine owner claimed prior to his arrest that he had been alone on the vessel overnight when it experienced the technical problems that eventually caused it to sink.

“I was just taking a practice trip, where I was playing with various things on the submarine, when a fault developed,” he told Danish media TV2 shortly after returning to land on Friday August 11th.

He initially claimed that he had brought Wall back to land at around 10:30pm on the night of her disappearance.

Broadcaster DR reported on Monday that Madsen told Copenhagen City Court nine days ago that Wall had died on board the Nautilus submarine.

Madsen provided the court with his explanation on August 12th, according to the report.

The information was kept behind closed doors by the court until today.

Madsen’s lawyer Betina Hald Engmark told DR that her client was “relieved” that his explanation had now been made public.

“That was his wish from the beginning,” Engmark said.

The lawyer was unable to confirm whether Wall’s family had already been informed of his explanation.

46-year-old Madsen was accused of causing Wall's death "in an unknown manner" before being remanded in custody for 24 days on August 12th on suspicion of manslaughter.

The Swede's body was not found inside the submarine after it was raised and brought to Copenhagen for forensic examination.

Last week, police stated that they would not release details of the evidence found on board the vessel, in order to avoid prejudicing the ongoing investigation.

But they confirmed on Friday that they did not expect to find Kim Wall alive.

READ ALSO: Kim Wall presumed dead: Copenhagen Police

Submarine disappearance timeline: What we know so far

Thursday August 10th

7pm: The submarine, crewed by its owner Peter Madsen and a Swedish journalist, sails from the Refshaleøen island harbour near Copenhagen.

8:30pm: Denmark military authorities receive a message from a cruise ship that observed the submarine sail out of Copenhagen Harbour, according to a DR report.

Around midnight: “Ferry traffic” sights Nautilus for the last time until the following morning.

Friday August 11th

2:30am: The partner of the Swedish woman reports that the craft is missing. Danish authorities begin searching for the submarine.

10:14am: The submarine is sighted in Køge Bay. Radio contact is made and the owner says he is setting course to Copenhagen, and that the submarine has technical problems. Nautlius sinks shortly afterwards.

11:00am: The owner is recovered by a private boat, but there is no sign of the second crew member. The owner is sailed to land at Dragør Harbour.

Afternoon: Police in Sweden state that a missing person alert issued during the morning pertains to the woman on board the submarine and remains in place, reports Swedish news agency TT.

5:44pm: Copenhagen police announce through a press statement that the owner of the Nautilus has been charged over the woman's death. Police divers have located the sunken submarine but have not yet gained access to it.

Saturday August 12th

Afternoon: Madsen is remanded in custody for 24 days by Copenhagen City Court as work to raise the submarine begins and the identity of the woman emerges as journalist Kim Wall, after her family contacts Danish media.

Sunday August 13th

The raised submarine is brought to land and police technicians begin their examination, but no body is found on board.

Monday August 14th

9:30am: Madsen's lawyer informs media that her client accepts his preliminary detainment on charges of manslaughter. 

2:26pm: Following a forensic examination of the wreck, police announce that they believe the submarine to have been deliberately sunk.

1:53pm: Police announce that they are broadening their search area towards the Swedish coast, are working in cooperation with Swedish authorities and are using aircraft in the search for Wall. 

Thursday August 17th

Police confirm that they are searching for a “dead person in the area around Køge Bay on both the Danish and Swedish sides”, and that aircraft searches have failed to yield any strong new leads in the search.

Friday August 18th

Kim Wall’s family appeal to the public and authorities to help them find closure in the case.

Monday August 21st

Madsen told the court that he buried Wall at sea somewhere in the Køge Bay area after she died following an accident on board the submarine, police confirm.



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