Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


The identity of the two men suspected of murdering 20 year old Birna Brjánsdóttir revealed

By Staff

  • The suspects currently in custody Thomas Møller Olsen (left) and Nikolaj Olsen (right). Photo/Iceland Magazine - Facebook

Local media has identified the two men who are being held on suspicion of having murdered the 20 year old local girl, Birna Brjánsdóttir, who disappeared on Saturday January 14. Her body was found on Sunday, near Selvogsviti lighthouse on the south coast of Reykjanes peninsula, following the largest missing persons search in Icelandic history.

Read more: Police found murdered girl’s ID on board Greenlandic trawler: Suspects interrogated today

missing girl

Birna Brjánsdóttir The body of the 20 year old local girl was found on Sunday Photo/Metropolitan Police

Two men in their 20s
The men have been identified as Thomas Møller Olsen, a 25 year old and Nikolaj Olsen who is said to be older than Thomas, although still in his 20s. Both men are Greenlandic and members of the crew of the Greenlandic trawler Polar Nanoq. They are currently being held in Litla-Hraun prison in South Iceland. Their interrigation by police will continue today.

The two men rented a red Kia Rio from a local car rental agency on Friday. The car has played a key role in the investigation. Police believes Birna entered the car on Laugavegur street in downtown Reykjavík at 5:25 AM on Saturday morning, and that she was later murdered in the car, as forensic research found blood from her in the car.

According to the sources of Stundin and the local newspaper Fréttablaðið, Thomas Møller was the driver during the morning when Birna disappearaed.

Read more: Everything we know about the disappearance and death of Birna Brjánsdóttir: Still many unanswered questions

Very different individuals
The local newspaper Stundin reports that Thomas Møller has been convicted of selling drugs in Greenland and a fan of mixed martial arts. He is suspected of being connected to the smuggling of large quantities of drugs which were discovered on board the trawler. Police found at least 20 kg of pressed hashish blocks, valued at 2 million USD on board the ship.

The other man, Nikolaj Olsen, does not have a criminal record. He was very intoxicated during the night when Birna disappeared according to the sources of Stundin. Both men have denied any involvement in the disappearance of Birna.

Stundin has interviewed a number of people who know the two men, as well as other crew members of Polar Nanoq. According to Stundin the two men are described in very different terms: While Thomas is said to be outgoing and confident, Nikolaj is described as less self-confident, easily influenced by others and more introverted. 


Previous Iceland Magazine coverage of the case:

We at Iceland Magazine have been covering this horrible case since it first broke. Here is a rundown of our coverage to date. 

Tuesday Jan 24:

Police found Birna's ID on board the Greenlandic trawler.

Read more: Police found murdered girl’s ID on board Greenlandic trawler: Suspects interrogated today

Monday Jan 23:

Many unanswered questions despite the discovery of Birna's body 

Read more: Everything we know about the disappearance and death of Birna Brjánsdóttir: Still many unanswered questions

Sunday Jan 22:

Birna's body was found eight days after she was discovered missing.

Read more: Body of missing girl found: All evidence points to murder by two Greenlandic fishermen

Friday Jan 20

More details about the drug find on-board the Greenlandic trawler.

Read more: Forensic search of Greenlandic trawler: 20-40 kg (44-88 lbs) of hash blocks found

Police believes the two men held in custody are responsible for the murder of Birna.

Read more: Two sailors from Greenlandic trawler suspected of murder, search for missing girl continues

Greenlandic Foreign Minister postpones visit to Norway while the search for Birna continues.

Read more: Greenlandic Foreign Minister postpones visit to Norway due to disappearance of local girl

Thursday Jan 19

Police discover large quantities of drugs on-board the trawler, arresting a fourth man. 

Read more: Fourth man arrested after large quantities of drugs discovered on board Greenlandic trawler 

Police reveals that evidence from the a red Kia Rio the sailors had rented from Friday to Saturday pointed to a violent crime.

Read more: Missing girl: Evidence from car rented by crew members of Greenlandic trawler points to a crime

More arrests on-board the ship, which arrived in harbour at 23:07 on Wednesday

Read more: Video: Third sailor on Greenlandic trawler arrested and taken for questioning over missing girl

Wednesday Jan 18

Police arrested two men on board the trawler.

Read more: Two arrested on-board Greenlandic trawler in connection to missing girl

Police officers and members of the Police Special Forces were flown out to the Danish Coast Guard vessel HDMS Triton which was on intercept course with the Polar Nanoq.

Read more: Missing girl: Members of the Police Special Forces on their way to Greenlandic trawler

The case has gripped the Icelandic nation. Police warns people to avoid of "hysteria".

Read more: Airing of British TV series The Missing postponed while search continues for missing girl

Security camera footage from Hafnarfjörður harbour shows crew members exiting the red Kia Rio, behaving suspiciously. The trawler was returned to harbour in Reykjavík.

Read more: Missing girl: Disturbing clues, no arrests, but Greenlandic trawler returned to harbour in Iceland

Tuesday Jan 17

The car was linked to crew members of Greenlandic trawler which had been docked in Hafnarfjörður from Wednesday to Saturday. The trawler had sailed out and was fishing off the east coast of Greenland.

Read more: DEVELOPING: Car linked to disappearance of young local woman connected crew of a trawler from Greenland

Tuesday afternoon Police found what it believes is the red Kia Rio seen in security camera footage just seconds before she was last spotted on CCTV footage in down town Reykjavík. The car was likely driven by foreign nationals. The driver is seen behaving suspiciously shortly after Birna's cellphone is turned off at 5:50 AM.

Read more: Missing woman: Car seen in surveillance tapes likely found, driver seen behaving strangely

Shoes which match those worn by Birna were found early Tuesday morning in Hafnafjörður, south of Reykjavík. Police does not rule out the shoes were planted at the scene. All available Police and Search and Rescue members are searching in and around Hafnafjörður harbour.

Read more: Police does not rule out that pair of shoes believed to belong to missing woman were planted

Police relased CCTV footage of Birna walking in downtown Reykjavík on Monday.

Read more: Search for missing young woman: Police releases footage from surveillance cameras

Monday Jan 16

A large scale search had been underway since Saturday for 20 year old local woman. Police feared foul play.

Read more: Young local woman missing since Saturday: Have you seen her?


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