Oslo police have apologised to a family which stumbled across some remains of their daughter after being invited to Utoya Island as part of a grieving exercise.
The couple and two of their children spotted something in the grass after they were taken to the place on the Norwegian island where their daughter was killed by gunman Anders Behring Breivik in the 22nd July massacre.
On closer inspection, the father saw that the find was a human jaw and teeth. DNA tests have since confirmed it belonged to his daughter; she was killed along with 69 others at the Labour Party youth camp by the Norwegian right-wing extremist.
The family have now buried the bones in an urn above the girl’s coffin which was laid to rest weeks ago. Speaking to newspaper VG, their attorney said they have been traumatised by the discovery. “They experienced this as having to go through a second funeral,” he said.
The police have apologised profusely, explaining that the clean-up effort was difficult. “This is terribly unfortunate and something we feared could happen, and it did,” Pal Hjort Kraby of the Oslo Police District told TV2. He added that the island had been swept five times before relatives were invited to visit.
The absolute horror. I read this a few days ago and I cannot stop thinking about it. Terrible sadness beyond description. I think of my beloved wife and if I found her remains – a jaw bone – a body part – part of the person that I love. Very sad. This poor father, if I could only help him but I cannot …