Peter Madsen, an amateur submarine and spacecraft builder, known as the Rocket Madsen, was arrested and imprisoned under the charge of manslaughter of 30-year-old journalist Kim Wall.
Wall disappeared on Thursday after boarding the Madsen submarine in the port of Copenhagen. On Friday morning, her partner reported her disappearance. The police located the submarine in the bay south of Copenhagen. The submarine drowned, but Madsen managed to jump from the sinking submarine and swam toward the lifeboat.
When brought to the beach, Madsen told local news crews that he had checked the submarine’s function and encountered problems with the valve in the submarine’s tank.
“I am sad because Nautilus went down,” he told TV 2. “a minor problem with a ballast tank . . . turned into a major issue,” he explained.
“I played things in the submarine and then there was a mistake,” he said, adding that he had only 30 seconds to escape from the submarine -considered the largest privately-built submarine of its kind – before it sank completely.
Madsen made it clear to the police that Wall was not on the submarine when it drowned and that he had dropped her off at the port in Copenhagen the day before and continued the journey on his own.
But on Friday, when the submarine left the port, a passing passerby accidentally photographed the vessel and documented Wall smiling from the submarine tower. However, no one had heard from her or seen her since.
Although no body was found, the 46-year-old Madsen was brought before a judge on Saturday. However, the prosecution did not provide answers on how, where or why the journalist died. Madsen’s lawyers deny any crime on his part. The submarine was pulled yesterday from the water and dragged ashore. The day after the investigators entered, they found no body.
The Swedish Express reported that according to the Copenhagen police, the submarine was suspected of being intentionally impregnated. “It makes sense if the reason is that they want to eliminate evidence,” the police said. “If the submarine is full of water, you can forget about DNA remains or similar traces.”
Wall’s brother, Tom, said she was with Madsen to write an article about him when she disappeared. “We hope she will be found and well,” the brother said in a statement. She graduated from Columbia University, and her articles appeared in a wide variety of media outlets, including the New York Times.
Madsen is a well-known figure in Sweden, and in recent years has led a group of amateurs who have tried to build the first manned spacecraft to be launched into space. He planned to launch himself in 2019, and this summer three unmanned launches of tools the group created were planned. He was described in the media as a person, with high aspirations and few social abilities. “He’s quarreling with everyone, but that’s how it is with people who are motivated by a great passion for a particular subject,” said an acquaintance with BT.