Copenhagen Police confirmed Wednesday that a headless body found off the Eastern coast of Denmark is a DNA match with Kim Wall, a missing freelance journalist and recent Columbia graduate last seen on August 10th boarding a submarine alongside Danish inventor Peter Madsen.
Police also revealed that the torso was weighed down with a piece of metal, BBC reports, and there were marks on it suggesting someone had attempted to press the air out of the body—two details indicating that someone wanted the body to sink, according to Copenhagen police chief Jens Moeller. Traces of Wall's blood have also been found inside the submarine, police said.
The grisly details come two days after Madsen, an amateur rocket-builder and the submarine's designer, allegedly told authorities that he dumped Wall's body overboard after she died in an "accident." Initially, Madsen claimed that he dropped her off safely on a nearby island.
Madsen is being held on charges of involuntary manslaughter. According to his attorney Betina Hald Engmark, the discovery of Wall's body does not indicate that her client was responsible for Wall's death.
"It doesn't change my client's explanation that an accident happened," Engmark reportedly told Danish BT tabloid. "No matter what, we find it very positive that she has been found now."
Wall, who graduated from Columbia University with a master's in journalism in 2013, was working on a profile about Madsen. She’d previously written for the New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Harper’s, the South China Morning Post and Vice Magazine, among others.
Friends told the New York Times that she was planning on moving to China with her boyfriend, and had just signed a lease on a studio apartment in Beijing.
"It is with boundless sadness and shock that we received news that the remains of our daughter and sister Kim Wall have been found," Ingrid Wall, Kim's mother, wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday. “We cannot yet grasp the extent of this catastrophe and there are many questions that must be answered.”
"Kim traveled for several months in the south pacific to let the world know what is happening to the population on the islands that sink as a result of atomsprängningar," the post continued. "She allowed us to come to the earthquake Haiti, to the torture chamber of idi amin in Uganda and the minefield in Sri Lanka. She gave voice to the weak, vulnerable and marginalised people."
Danish police said they consider the discovery of Wall's body to be a "breakthrough in the investigation," and will continue to search for missing body parts.