Human Bone Found by Fishermen Identified

Selfoss - Suðurland - Ölfusá

Swedish forensic pathologists have identified an upper arm bone that was discovered by Icelandic sailors in their fishing gear three years ago, RÚV reports. The bone belonged to Guðmundur Geir Sveinsson, who is believed to have fallen into Ölfusá river on December 26, 2015. Another case involving the identification of a skull led police to reopen the case of the upper arm bone and finally trace its source.

When Guðmundur Geir (b. 1974) disappeared in 2015, South Iceland Police strongly suspected he had fallen into Ölfusá river from Selfoss cemetery. A search for Guðmundur was initiated, but it proved unsuccessful. The identification of the upper arm bone is the first concrete proof of what happened to him.

When fishermen discovered the bone three years ago, radiocarbon dating suggested that it belonged to an individual who had died between 2004-2007, and the investigation was ended. Another case of incorrect radiocarbon dating led to it being reopened.

Former MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir’s father, Jón Ólafsson, disappeared in 1987 on Christmas Eve. Jón skull was found 25 years ago, but radiocarbon dating led it to be wrongly identified. It was not until this January that reanalysis confirmed the skull belonged to Jón. That case led South Iceland Police to re-examine the upper arm bone, which led to its identification as Guðmundur Geir Sveinsson’s.

According to a notice from South Iceland Police, The upper arm bone was identified through comparison with DNA samples of Guðmundur’s relatives that had been collected at the time of his disappearance. “A meeting about this discovery has been held with the relatives and these earthly remains will be handed over to them in the next few days,” the notice states.

Those in Quarantine Will Receive Salary, Says Prime Minister

Katrín Jakobsdóttir forsætisráðherra

While there are 34 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iceland, nearly 400 Icelandic residents are currently in home-based quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus. Many have been wondering whether they will receive a salary if they are unable to work from home. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir told RÚV the government, employers, and trade unions are working toward a solution that will ensure those in quarantine will receive wages.

The Icelandic government, the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA), and the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ) met yesterday to work toward an agreement on the matter, but have yet to announce that the agreement has been finalised.

In an interview with Stöð 2 yesterday, the Prime Minister emphasised that all parties agreed those in quarantine should be paid wages. “The day was spent by all the parties sitting together to find solutions. As I understand it now at the end of the day, we are close to a solution that will ensure everyone receives wages in quarantine and that will be through a co-operative path where we will all contribute,” Katrín stated.

All 34 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iceland are among Icelandic residents who contracted the virus abroad in Italy or Austria. Authorities added Austria’s Ischgl ski region to the list of high-risk areas today, which includes China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran.

For the most updated information on COVID-19 in Iceland, visit the Directorate of Health website.