Iceland mourns as body of missing woman is found

The body of Birna Brjánsdóttir, a 20-year-old woman missing for 8 days, was found on the shore by Selvogsviti lighthouse, south of Reykjavik yesterday.

The disappearance of the young woman absorbed the nation for the passed few days and all eyes were on the police and the SAR teams searching for her in the biggest SAR effort ever conducted in Iceland. Today there is an outpour of mourning and condolences on social media and in the news, as Icelanders come to terms with Birna Brjansdottir’s tragic end.

Brjansdottir was last seen on the morning of 14 January at 5:25. The police are investigating her case as a crime and it’s considered all but certain that she was murdered, however preliminary investigation has not been completed. Two men from the crew of Greenlandic trawler Polar Nanoq were arrested, both of them claim their innocence.

Greenlanders are also struck by the case. A group of Greenlanders gathered at the Icelandic consulate in Nuuk this to light candles for Birna Brjansdottir and similar events were organised in the Greenlandic towns of Qaqortog and Tasiilaq.

Birna Brjánsdóttir was likely murdered in a rental car, a red Kia Rio frequently mention in the news over the last few days. The two arrested men rented the car. It is now clear that the forensic evidence found in the car was Brjansdottir’s blood.

725 volunteers of the Icelandic Search and Rescue Squad participated in the search for Birna over the last week in the biggest SAR efforts ever launched in Iceland. The Icelandic Coast Guard found her body yesterday afternoon.