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Birna Believed to Have Drowned

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Birna Believed to Have Drowned

Memorial march for Birna Brjánsdóttir.

From the memorial gathering for Birna on January 28. Photo: Screenshot from RÚV.

Quoting unnamed sources, RÚV reported last night that the cause of Birna Brjánsdóttir’s death was drowning. According to the same sources, injuries to the body suggest that her neck had been constricted.

The 20-year-old Birna disappeared in Reykjavík on January 14. Her body was found eight days later. One man is in custody, suspected in her death.

A final autopsy report is still being awaited, but it is not believed to change the conclusion already drawn by police. RÚV’s sources state that the police find it unlikely a weapon was used. Birna is believed to have been killed inside the red Kia Rio car, rented by the suspect.

Research of ocean currents and winds indicates that Birna’s body drifted from a location west of Selvogsviti lighthouse, on the south coast of Reykjanes peninsula, where it was found. A search for clues was conducted by rescue workers Sunday along Vogsós, below Hlíðarvatn lake, but nothing was found.

Drowning causes water to be carried into the lungs, and a preliminary autopsy report showed that to be the case.

No interrogations of the suspect are planned for today, according to Chief Superintendent Grímur Grímsson, who would not confirm the cause of death, and added that the police have yet to decide whether to reveal that information.

Police custody of the suspected was extended last Thursday by two weeks, but that decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on the matter today.

UPDATE: The Supreme Court of Iceland has confirmed the two-week police custody extension, according to RÚV.

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