The Murder Mystery That's Captivating Iceland
Over the last two decades, an average of about two people have been murdered annually in the small and prosperous nation of 336,000. It has had entire years — 2003, 2006 and 2008 — when not a single person was murdered.
But Iceland, where police officers do not carry firearms, has been shaken by the recent death of Birna Brjansdottir, a fun-loving, 20-year-old sales assistant who worked at a department store in a shopping mall. Her disappearance more than a week ago, after last being seen staggering down a street in downtown Reykjavik, prompted the largest search-and-rescue operation in decades.
On Sunday, the police found Ms. Brjansdottir’s body on a beach about 22 miles southeast of the capital, Reykjavik, and said they were treating the case as a murder. Two sailors from Greenland, ages 25 and 30, have been arrested, but have not been charged with a crime that, for now at least, remains a mystery.
From “Killing of a Young Woman Grips Iceland” by Dan Bilefsky and Egill Bjarnason; Photo from Reykjavik Metropolitan Police
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