Thousands of people marched down Laugavegur in downtown Reykjavík on Saturday to remember Birna Brjánsdóttir, the 20-year-old Icelandic woman, whose body was found in Reykjanes just over a week ago. Two men are in police custody, suspected in her death.
According to Hannes Þór Guðmundsson, officer of the traffic division of the police, between 10,000 and 12,000 people participated in the march, mbl.is reports. RÚV puts the estimate between 6,000 and 8,000.You can watch a video of the march here.
Birna was last seen on security cameras early Saturday morning, January 14, on Laugavegur 31. She was reported missing that day, and her body was found on the south coast of Reykjanes peninsula, Southwest Iceland, eight days later.
Candles were lit on Arnarhóll hill. Photo: Screenshot from RÚV.
Her death deeply affected a nation where murders are rare and women generally feel safe walking the streets at night.
Mourners brought flowers, which they laid by Laugavegur 31, and candles, which they lit there and on Arnarhóll hill, where the march ended. A minute of silence was observed at Arnarhóll, after which the men’s choir Esja sang several songs.
One of the mourners commented, “I came to express my condolences to Birna’s relatives and friends. She was the daughter of all of us.”
A man attending the march stated, “It’s so terrible that such a young a beautiful woman should be snatched away from us this way. Not a day has gone by without thinking about her. First after she disappeared, you feared looking at the news when you got up, and then things went this way.”