Search Launched in Dublin Park for Icelander Missing Since 2019

The search continues for Icelander Jón Þröstur Jónsson.

Following two anonymous tips, the police in Ireland now fear that Jón Þröstur Jónsson — who went missing in Dublin in 2019 — met his death after a meeting in Santry Demesne Park. The authorities initiated a search for his remains in the park yesterday. The search is expected to take at least two days. 

Missing without a trace

In February of 2019, 41-year-old Jón Þröstur Jónsson disappeared in Dublin. He was visiting the city with his fiancée to attend a poker tournament and was last seen on surveillance cameras in Whitehall, a northside suburb of Dublin. The police had few leads on Jón Þröstur’s disappearance early on, and very little new information has emerged over the past five years. 

Earlier this week, however, the police in Ireland announced that it had received two anonymous tips — sent to the police and a city priest respectively — suggesting that Jón Þröstur had walked to Santry Demesne Park on the night of his disappearance.

The Irish media outlet Dublin Live reported yesterday that police feared he might have been murdered: “Sources have told Dublin Live that officers now suspect Jón Þröstur Jónsson was killed on the day he vanished in the city five years ago – after a meeting he had organised went wrong. It’s understood officers believe he had lost thousands of euros while playing poker in Dublin before his disappearance – and was meeting someone to get access to more cash.”

Search expected to take at least two days

In light of this new information, the police initiated a search in Santry Demesne Park yesterday. Due to the size of the park, the search is expected to take at least two days.

Dublin Live reported that the authorities were focusing their search on two areas of the Santry Demesne Park. “One is a heavily wooded area, while the other is a deep lake in the park – which means officers believe his remains have either been hidden in a shallow grave or in the water … officers from Ballymun have called in several specialist Garda units – including divers and dog handlers. Cadaver dogs are involved in the search – and they are used to indicate if human remains are in the area.”

In an interview with Newstalk Breakfast this morning, journalist Muiris O’Cearbhaill from the Irish media outlet The Journal said that the police had not released any new information but that developments might occur today. 

As noted by Vísir, Jón Þröstur’s siblings, Anna Hildur and Davíð Karl, flew to Dublin last week and participated in a press conference with the police, renewing their call for the search for Jón Þröstur, five years after his disappearance.

Child Murder Suspected in Kópavogur Case

Chief Superintendent Grímur Grímsson

A woman is in custody following the death of her six year old child on Nýbýlavegur in Kópavogur. The case is being investigated as a murder, reports.

“The woman is suspected of causing the death of the boy,” said Grímur Grímsson, chief superintendent with the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police. The woman lived on Nýbýlavegur with two of her children. The other child is being taken care of by child protection services. The father also lives in Iceland and has expressed his grief over his son’s death in a post on his Facebook page. Both parents have lived in the country for three to four years and have received international protection as refugees in Iceland.

Many questions unanswered

Police have not revealed the cause of death or why murder is suspected. Many people have already been questioned. “We can only hold a person for 12 weeks in custody, so we have the next few weeks to investigate,” Grímur said. “I expect that we’ll question more people and bring some back into questioning. This is to be expected in cases like this.”

Grímur also did not reveal the time of death. The only confirmed details are that the mother contacted police herself Wednesday morning and that when police arrived at the scene, the other child had left for school. The case is very sensitive to the community, the police have said, as it involves the death of a young child. The boy was a first grade student at Álfholtsskóli primary school and the school has subsequently activated its crisis response team.

Man Found Dead in East Reykjavík Believed to Have Been Murdered

A man found unconscious in East Reykjavík last weekend, and later declared dead at the hospital, is now believed to have been murdered, Vísir reports. The woman arrested at the scene is suspected of having caused his death.

Autopsy sheds light on likely cause of death

Ævar Pálmi Pálmason, Assistant Chief Superintendent at the Central Investigation Department of the Capital Area Police, suggests that all signs point to the likelihood that the man who was discovered unconscious in East Reykjavík last weekend was murdered, Vísir reports. The woman arrested at the scene of the incident is now suspected of having caused his death.

The man, who was in his sixties, was found unconscious in an apartment building in Bátavogur on Saturday, September 23. The police were notified about the man and attempted resuscitation, but he was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital. “In the beginning, it was very unclear in what manner the man had died, but now there are indications that he was murdered,” Ævar stated in an interview with Vísir. He added that an autopsy now suggests foul play.

As noted by DV, the woman who was arrested on the scene of the incident was initially placed into custody based on investigative interests; but the police now believe that she was responsible for the man’s death. The woman was registered as residing at the home, and the man also appears to have stayed there.

According to RÚV, the man had injuries on his neck and also significant injuries to his genitals, although Ævar Pálmi refused to comment on the nature of the man’s wounds nor on what was believed to have been the cause of his death. Ævar did confirm, however, that a dead dog had been found inside the apartment. “One of the things that needs to be investigated is whether and in what way this dead dog is related to the case.”

As noted by Vísir, the current custody order expires tomorrow. When asked whether further custody of the woman would be sought, Ævar told Vísir that it would be revealed tomorrow. “There is much work to be done in this case, much data to collect, and many reports to take. We are fully engaged in investigating this case,” he concluded.

Deep North Episode 45: Borrowed Crime

icelandic true crime

On May 26, 1982, sisters Yvette and Marie Luce Bahuaud arrived in Iceland from France. On August 15, after nearly three months of travelling, they came to the town of Djúpivogur in East Iceland. Having spent the night at a hotel, they planned to hitchhike to Skaftafell, a preservation area just south of the Vatnajökull glacier, which had become a national park in 1957. Their murder that night has proved to be one of the stranger episodes in Icelandic history, and we consider this tragic event in the wider context of the ever-growing true crime genre.

Read the story here.

Trial in Ólafsfjörður Murder Case Scheduled for Next Week

Metropolitan Police

A man accused of homicide in Ólafsfjörður last year is said to have stabbed the deceased twice in the left side, resulting in fatal bleeding, RÚV reports. The case is scheduled for trial next week.

Stabbed the man twice

A man in his thirties has been charged with the murder of a man in Ólafsfjörður in North Iceland last year. The defendant reportedly stabbed the victim twice in the left side, causing him to bleed to death, RÚV reports.

The prosecutor is seeking for the accused, 37, to be sentenced and to cover all legal costs. Additionally, there are two separate civil claims against him: one demanding compensation totalling ISK 12 million [$88,000 / €83,000] plus interest, and the other seeking damages amounting to just under ISK 11 million [$81,000 / €76,000] plus interest, due to the loss of the provider. The deceased was 46 years old.

Unable to rule out self defence

The man died from stab wounds in his home in Ólafsfjörður on the eve of Monday, October 3, Last Year. Originally, three individuals were detained in custody, but two were soon released: the wife of the deceased and the homeowner. The accused claimed that the deceased initiated the confrontation, and the evidence in the case supported this, according to the custody order.

In the police incident report, it is noted that the deceased is believed to have attacked the accused with a knife. According to the defendant, he tried to wrestle the knife away from the deceased, who then fell onto the knife and was fatally wounded. Among other details, the custody decision highlighted that it could not be ruled out that provisions of the Penal Code on self-defence were applicable. Nevertheless, the accused’s detention was extended, in part due to suspicions of his involvement in other crimes.

He was released from prison in March 2022 on parole, with an unplanned remaining sentence of 220 days. According to the detention order, he had at least six encounters with the police since then.

The accused was held in custody for just over a month, until November 7. He is the only one being prosecuted in the case, which is set for trial in the District Court of Northeast Iceland on Tuesday, September 26.

Long-Detained Suspect in Selfoss Murder Case Claims Innocence

Selfoss - Suðurland - Ölfusá

A man suspected of murdering a woman in Selfoss this spring denies having strangled her, RÚV reports. His attorney believes that the courts are bending the law by keeping the man in extended custody.

Unusual silence

Four months after a woman in her twenties was discovered dead in Selfoss, the cause of her death remains uncertain. The prime suspect claims he found her lifeless, and the man’s attorney argues that the prolonged detention of his client exceeds legal limits.

After the woman was discovered in a private residence in Selfoss on April 27, two stepbrothers, also in their twenties, were initially apprehended. The younger brother was released soon thereafter. An unusual silence has surrounded the investigation, uncommon for murder cases in Iceland, which RÚV suggests owes to the sensitive and ambiguous nature of the investigation.

Suspicious behaviour

As noted by RÚV, the police suspect the older brother of strangling the woman, as evidenced by marks on her neck. Initial autopsy results remain inconclusive, however, and the suspect refutes claims of violence. He alleges that he discovered the woman deceased in the bathroom, attributing her death to drugs.

Authorities question his delay in alerting emergency services; instead, the suspect is to have moved the body, performed CPR, and called his brother over to the house – prior to accompanying him for a car ride. The suspect later conceded his actions were misguided, citing shock and drug influence.

Urgent investigative interests non-existent

Recent updates in the case have solely concerned extensions to the suspect’s custody, now set until the end of the month. As noted by RÚV, this will mark his 18th week in custody, and the investigation is still ongoing. This is notable given that Article 95 of the Criminal Code limits detention to twelve weeks without an indictment, barring urgent investigative needs.

Vilhjálmur H. Vilhjálmsson, the suspect’s attorney, questions the “urgent investigative interests” justifying his client’s prolonged detention. “In my view, they don’t exist,” he stated in an interview with RÚV yesterday. Since assuming the defence role six weeks ago, Vilhjálmur maintained that he had observed no progress in the investigation, expressing concern over potential precedents sidelining the twelve-week rule. Such extensions are notably rare, especially of this magnitude.

When queried about the case’s peculiarities, Vilhjálmur stated: “The final autopsy report is yet to be obtained and there are some letters of request. However, my client can’t influence these outcomes, negating any investigative interests.” Vilhjálmur believes the prolonged detention, framed as investigative advocacy, is a ploy to grant police extended investigation time under the guise of public interest.

Co-Tenant Arrested in Hafnarfjörður Murder Case

The man found dead in an industrial area in Hafnarfjörður on Saturday morning is believed to have died from stab wounds, RÚV reports. The police have arrested the man’s co-tenant on suspicion of murder.

Exact circumstances remain unclear

A man discovered unconscious in an industrial area in Hafnarfjörður on Saturday morning is believed to have died from stab wounds, according to authorities. The man’s co-tenant has been taken into police custody on suspicion of murder. This incident marks the third homicide in Iceland in two months.

“We are investigating a suspected homicide,” Grímur Grímsson, Chief Superintendent of the Icelandic Police’s central investigative department, told RÚV yesterday. While he declined to disclose specific details, he clarified the ongoing nature of the case.

“At this point, I’m not prepared to go into too much detail in this investigation,” Grímur told RÚV. “Given the recent occurrence, it is not feasible to delve deeper into it.” RÚV sources indicate that the attack occurred inside the victim’s bedroom early on Saturday morning, following which he managed to exit the residence before succumbing to his injuries.

“While the exact circumstances remain uncertain, the deceased exhibited injuries consistent with stab wounds, leading us to work on the assumption that he died as a result of such an injury,” Grímur stated when addressing concerns about alternative causes of death.

An autopsy is expected to determine the definitive cause of the man’s death.

A third party called the police

The deceased was in his forties and the suspect about forty years old, according to the police. Both hail from Poland. The men knew each other and shared a residence. According to sources, the suspect reportedly confided in a third party about the attack, leading to a subsequent call to the police. As a result, two individuals were apprehended. “We detained two men, one at the scene and the other a short distance away,” Grímur remarked to RÚV.

The latter individual was released on Saturday after it became evident that he had no involvement in the case, despite being present at the scene. The suspect, however, has been remanded in custody for five days.

This incident marks the third homicide of the year and the third within the past two months.

When asked about the significance of these occurrences, the police downplayed any interpretation, stating: “Currently, there is no specific implication. Historically, Iceland has experienced an average of 1.7 to 1.8 homicide cases per year. Sometimes these incidents cluster together, followed by periods of relative calm. Hence, we do not attribute any particular meaning to this pattern at present.”

Four Arrested Following Manslaughter in Hafnarfjörður

Icelandic police

Four people, three of them under 18, are being detained by capital area police in connection to the death of a Hafnarfjörður man.

In a statement by law enforcement, they were tipped off around midnight to a confrontation between the suspects and victim in the parking lot of Fjarðarkaup in Hólshraun, a district in Hafnarfjörður.

Police arrived at the scene shortly after, where they found the victim. The victim was transported to the emergency room, where he was pronounced dead.

The other four parties were arrested in connection with the case.

Capital area authorities note that the investigation is still in its early stages, and no further details are available at this time.

Would-Be Terrorists Discussed Killing Minister Guðlaugur Þór

Minister for Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson.

The two men being held in police custody accused of planning a domestic terrorism attack in Iceland had reportedly discussed killing Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson – Minister of the Environment, Energy, and Climate.

The “first investigation of its kind” in Iceland

Four Icelandic men were arrested on September 21 suspected of “terrorist plots” against state institutions and civilians. Two of the suspects were immediately released; the other two have remained in custody. Last Friday, the District Court of Reykjavík approved the District Attorney’s request to extend their custody by four weeks.

According to the police, the suspects had hoarded numerous weapons – including dozens of semi-automatic guns and 3D-printed components – alongside a considerable amount of ammunition. The men, both of whom are in their twenties, had reportedly discussed carrying out an attack during the police’s annual celebration (which was held on October 1).

Politicians among would-be targets

Yesterday, RÚV reported that the suspects had also discussed killing Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister of the Environment, Energy, and Climate. The Chief of Police reportedly notified the Minister of the suspects’ intentions prior to calling the Minister in for questioning.

As reported on October 10, the suspects had also discussed targeting Efling chairperson Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir and Gunnar Smári Egilsson, chairperson of the Socialist Party. The names of current and former Pirate Party politicians were also mentioned as possible targets.

The police have asked a psychiatrist to assess the earnestness of the remarks made by the men during private messages, with the suspects’ lawyers contending that the threats were empty. Chief Police Inspector Karl Steinar Valsson has stated that this is the “first investigation of its kind” to be launched in Iceland.

Two Suspects Released, Murder Not the Case in Laugardalur

police station Hlemmur

The two men arrested yesterday for their suspected involvement in a murder in Reykjavík have now been released, reports. The police no longer believe that the victim’s death was the result of a punishable offence.

The forensic pathologist concludes

After a woman was found dead in her car Saturday morning (in the 105 district of Reykjavík, near Laugardalur), two men in their forties were arrested suspected of homicide. The men, both of whom were in their forties, were said to have known the victim.

The police withheld details during the initial stages of the investigation, prior to releasing a public statement yesterday evening:

“The forensic pathologist has concluded that the woman’s injuries did not lead to her death; there is no longer any reason to believe that the woman’s death was the result of a punishable offence.”

The police clarified that during the initial stages of the investigation, the forensic pathologist and the police were confronted with many “questionable aspects” that required further examination. For this reason, two men connected to the woman were arrested, and the police intended to keep them in custody until October 13. But they have now been released.

Lögreglan á höfuðborgarsvæðinu hefur meðal annars til rannsóknar hvort einhver hafi veitt konu, sem fannst látin í Laugardal um helgina, áverka sem fundust á líki hennar. Áverkarnir urðu til þess að lögregla hóf rannsókn með það í huga að konunni hafi verið banað og handtók tvo menn tengda henni.

The investigation is still ongoing, with the police currently investigating whether someone was responsible for the woman’s injuries.

Updated at 1.37 PM