August 12, 2017 / 7:18 PM / 2 months ago

Danish police say mystery submarine seems to have been sunk on purpose

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish police said on Sunday they had found nobody in the wreck of a submarine owned by an inventor charged with the manslaughter of a woman who had been on board - but added the vessel seemed to have been deliberately sunk.

An unidentified woman stands in the tower of the private submarine "UC3 Nautilus" pictured in Copenhagen Harbor, Denmark August 11, 2017. Picture taken August 11, 2017. Anders Valdsted/Scanpix Denmark via REUTERS

Police have said that Swedish journalist Kim Wall, 30, is missing after taking a ride on Peter Madsen’s homemade 17-metre sub, which sank on Friday morning. Madsen was rescued by the navy.

Madsen, 46, has been ordered to be held in custody for 24 days, accused of Wall’s manslaughter.

The vessel was recovered on Saturday from Koge Bay, south of Copenhagen, where it had been lying at a depth of seven meters, and taken into harbor. Police searched it late on Saturday and early on Sunday.

“There are no persons in the submarine, dead or alive,” Jens Moller, head of Copenhagen Police’s homicide unit, said at a news conference on Sunday.

Danish submarine owner and inventor Peter Madsen lands with the help of the Danish defence in Dragor Harbor south of Copenhagen, Denmark August 11, 2017. Picture taken August 11, 2017. Scanpix Denmark/Bax Lindhardt/via REUTERS

He said it appeared to have been deliberately scuttled, and was still being treated as a possible crime scene.

Madsen, an entrepreneur, artist, submarine builder and aerospace engineer, went before a judge on Saturday behind closed doors for preliminary questioning. His defense lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, told Reuters he denied the charges.

Police said on Friday the inventor had told them he dropped Wall off from his submarine in Copenhagen on Thursday night. On Sunday they said they had since been given another explanation by Madsen, but declined to elaborate.

Police in Sweden said they had tried without success to contact Wall by phone and that her family had not heard from her.

The submarine, UC3 Nautilus, is one of three constructed by Madsen. It can carry eight people.

Additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Andrew Roche

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