Denmark shocked by suspected killing of young woman after night out

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of killing a 22-year-old woman who disappeared after a night out in northern city Aalborg, in a case that has deeply shocked many in Denmark.

Flowers in Aalborg left by the public for a missing woman
Flowers left by members of the public in Aalborg at the location where a missing young woman was last seen. Two men have been arrest on suspicion of killing her. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Aalborg District Court on Thursday remanded in custody a 36-year-old man who is held on suspicion of killing a missing woman from the North Jutland city.

A second man, also 36, was released by the district court on Thursday but police charges against him are upheld, news wire Ritzau reported. A higher court upheld this decision on Friday.

The case relates to 22-year-old Mia Skadhauge Stevn, who was last seen getting into a black car in central Aalborg just after 6am on Sunday February 6th. She is reported to have been on her way home from the Jomfru Ane Gade nightlife area.

Intensive investigation by police is ongoing in the case. Three addresses were searched in North Jutland earlier this week, with a car also seized. It is unconfirmed whether the seized car is the vehicle CCTV recorded Stevn getting into in the last known sighting of her on Sunday.

Investigation has also involved the Dronninglund Storskov forest, where police said on Thursday evening that they had found human remains.

“The police are awaiting a series of technical and forensic investigations that will include confirmation that this is the 22-year-old and state the cause of death,” North Jutland Police senior inspector Frank Olsen told reporters late on Thursday.

Some details remain unclear in the case with the police investigation ongoing.

Details of the charges have not been made public, with Thursday’s initial court proceedings conducted behind closed doors. The nature of evidence gathered by police is also not known to the public.

The two suspects are reported to have known each other for some time but no previous connection has been made between them and the victim.

Police earlier suggested the black car connected to the case may have been an illegal taxi but it is not certain whether they are still working with this theory.

The case has received extensive media attention in Denmark and given rise to debate around violence against women.

Minister for equality Trine Bramsen wrote in a social media post that Denmark has “a problem” because women have been killed “because they are women”.

Bramsen wrote that “several” women had been killed by their partners in Denmark since the beginning of 2022 in addition to the Aalborg case which “appears to be a murder”.

“(This is) a problem we must be able to speak about and find solutions to,” she wrote.

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Denmark jails IS ‘wife’ for three years

A 35-year-old Danish woman was sentenced on Friday to three years in prison for entering Syria and promoting the Islamic State (IS) group's activities, prosecutors in Denmark said.

Denmark jails IS 'wife' for three years

During the mother of five’s trial, the prosecutor had argued that wives were a key part of IS.

“Even if you did not actively participate in the fighting, we assert that you can support the terrorist organisation by shopping in its supermarkets, by taking care of the children, by being a housewife,” prosecutor Trine Schjodt
Fogh said.

The woman, who pleaded guilty, was convicted of “having promoted the activities of IS, in particular by acting as the housewife and wife of a person who was active in the terrorist organisation,” the prosecution authority said in a statement.

She was also found guilty of having “entered and resided in al-Raqqa district in Raqqa province and Deir al-Zour province in Syria, which were defined as conflict zones during the period”.

The  woman, who is originally from the west of Denmark, arrived in Syria eight years ago, a journey she “bitterly” regrets, her lawyer Mette Gith Stage told news agency Ritzau.

“The last few years have been difficult for her, first in the caliphate, then in a prison camp and now in prison. She misses her children terribly and is eager for the case to end so that she and her children can move on,” the
lawyer said.

In October 2021, Denmark removed three women and 14 children from the Kurdish-controlled Roj camp in north-eastern Syria in a joint operation with Germany.

The three women were arrested on arrival in Denmark and have since been in detention and the trial that just ended marks the first of three.