The man who fell into Gullfoss waterfall on Wednesday has been identified by South Iceland police as Nika Begades, a 22-year-old from Georgia, reports RÚV. The man’s friends assisted police in tracing his family in Georgia and the police informed the family of his disappearance last night.
Nika fell into Gullfoss on Wednesday afternoon, and the discovery and subsequent examination of a car left in the parking lot that evening led to the police establishing his identity.
“Once we got in touch with the owners and people associated with the vehicle, we saw that the young man had borrowed the vehicle. We then went and reviewed surveillance tape from Gullfoss and saw him as he left the vehicle,” stated South Iceland Police Chief Sveinn Kristján Rúnarsson.
The images of the man and his clothing in the surveillance tape matched descriptions given by witnesses who saw him in the river, which gave police further confirmation of his identity.
As stated, Nika was a 22-year-old from Georgia, and was living in Reykjanesbær in Southwest Iceland while he waited for his application for asylum to be processed. The police did not know how long Nika had been in Iceland. The search for Nika will continue today and over the next few days, but the police do not expect to find him alive.
On Wednesday, Georgia was placed on the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration’s list of so-called safe states, where basic human rights are considered to be generally respected. People from safe countries are usually not granted asylum in Iceland, and are most often returned to their country of origin. A representative from the Directorate of Immigration was not available for comment as of the time of writing.