Arrests Made In Connection With Missing Woman - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Arrests Made In Connection With Missing Woman

Published January 19, 2017

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Three crew members of the Greenlandic ship Polar Nanoq were arrested by Icelandic police yesterday in connection with the disappearance of Birna Brjáns­dótt­ir. Police also say they have found evidence of criminal activity within a red Kia Rio rented by one of the crew members.

RÚV reports that two crew members were arrested at around noon yesterday, and a third was arrested last night at around 21:00. All three are currently in police custody, and questioning was conducted throughout the night, in English and Danish. Vísir reports that one of these three has been pronounced by Reykjavík District Court to remain in police custody for at least the next two weeks. Police believe he should remain in custody for at least four weeks, and intend to appeal that matter to the Supreme Court.

All three men are in custody as suspects; not as witnesses. UPDATED 13:11: RÚV reports that a second crew member has also been pronounced to remain in police custody for the next two weeks. Police also want four weeks for this crew member, and intend to appeal.

Further, Vísir also reports that police found evidence of criminal activity within a red Kia Rio that was rented by one of the crew members of the ship. However, police could not confirm if this was the same car seen in surveillance footage taken on Laugarvegur on the night of Birna’s disappearance.

As reported, according to sources close to Vísir, crew members of the ship in question rented a red Kia Rio on the weekend of her disappearance, and the ship was docked in Hafnarfjörður during this time. Surveillance footage taken on Laugarvegur on the night of the disappearance shows a red Kia Rio traveling went on Laugavegur at about the same time and place that Birna disappeared.

Her phone continued to produce a signal until at about 5:50 in Hafnarfjörður, near the area of the fire station. Given the distance covered in this short amount of time, it is possible she went to Hafnarfjörður by car. Rescue workers and police extended their search to Hafnarfjörður, and RÚV reports that two black Dr. Martens boots – the same kind Birna was wearing on the night she disappeared – were found near the harbour. However, there is as yet no definitive proof that these are Birna’s boots, and police say they are working “full power” to get to the bottom of this.

Police have been engaged in an extensive search for Birna, who was last seen early Saturday morning in downtown Reykjavík. Capital area police have now released surveillance camera footage which shows her walking east on Laugavegur at about 5:25 Saturday morning. After scanning footage from several cameras along Laugavegur, it appears as though Birna walked no further than Laugavegur 31.

Birna is 20 years old, 170cm tall and weighs about 70 kilos, with red hair. She was last seen wearing black jeans, a light-grey sweater, a black fleece hoodie and black Dr. Marten boots. If you have seen Birna, or have any information that could lead to her whereabouts, police implore you to call 444-1109 immediately.


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