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Icelander murdered in El Salvador

An Icelandic engineer, Jón Þór Ólafsson, 37, was found shot to death in El Salvador on Sunday, reports Morgunbladid.

According to Morgunbladid, Jón Thór’s colleagues notified the police on Sunday that Jón Thór was missing. There was speculation that he had been kidnapped but according to a colleague of Jón Thór’s kidnapping of foreigners is very rare in San Salvador.

Events leading to the murder are unknown but the police in El Salvador are investigating the case in collaboration with the International Department of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police.

For the last six months, Jón Thór had worked in El Salvador as an engineer constructing a geothermal electrical power plant for the Icelandic company Enex. Since the spring of 2005, there have been on average 2 – 3 Icelanders working for Enex in El Salvador.

According to the La Prensa Grafica daily, Jón Thór’s car was found on the Calle Jerusalem highway. There were no signs of any struggle inside the car but the radio had been stolen.

A press officer for the police in San Salvador told the Morgunbaldid that Jón Thór was found at 6.30 a.m. on Sunday morning in a remote area about 43 kilometers from the capital San Salvador. Two bodies were found, both covered with gun shot wounds. The deceased were found without ID and transported to a hospital were they were identified. At the hospital the other individual was identified as Brenda America Salinas from El Salvador. The relation between the two is unknown and under investigation.

No arrests have been made in connection to the murder and the motive unknown.

Jón Thór’s partner lives in Iceland as do his two children from a prior relationship.

In a separate news item on mbl.is last night, it was stated that there were 3,812 murders in El Salvador last year, the highest murder rate for the last seven years. 80% of those murdered were shot to death. It is believed that the increase in crime is caused by more gang activity.

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