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Iceland gripped by murder mystery of 20-year-old shop worker who vanished after night out with friends

Mirror logo Mirror 24/01/2017 Steve Robson

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It's a murder mystery with all the hallmarks of a Nordic noir.

A beautiful young woman disappeared in the early hours of a foggy night in Iceland.

Following a frantic phone call by her mother to police, a major search encompassed hundreds of local volunteers.

And after more than a week of intriguing developments, the girl's body has been found on a beach more than 20 miles from where she was last seen in the capital Reykjavik.

Credits: Reykjavik Metropolitan Police © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Reykjavik Metropolitan Police

But sadly the death of 20-year-old Birna Brjansdottir is all too real.

The case has gripped the remote island where murders are a rare occurrence - in fact, there none at all in 2003, 2006 and 2008.

Birna, a shop assistant in a department store, failed to return home from a night out with friends on January 14.

Local media said the fun-loving red-head's last post on Facebook had been lamenting that "Kiss a Ginger Day" was almost over and no-one had kissed her.

Credits: Reykjavik Metropolitan Police © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Reykjavik Metropolitan Police

CCTV footage showed Birna walking unsteadily down a street in Reykjavik at around 5am.

She was also spotted near a red Kia car.

But for the first 48 hours, police were baffled by Birna's disappearance.

The case grew more sinister, when her Doc Marten shoes were found on a dock on the outskirts of of town a few days later.

Nearby, police also spotted a red Kia matching the car from the CCTV.

It was established it had been rented by two men aboard a fishing trawler now headed back to Greenland.

It prompted tense scenes as Iceland sent its only armed squadron via a helicopter to trace the trawler at sea.

The vessel was surrounded and two sailors, aged 25 and 30, were arrested.

According to local reports, police have found Birna's blood in the red Kia.

And then on Sunday, the girl's body was finally found on a beach.

But a number of questions remain about her tragic death.

Police say the suspects will be interrogated further on Tuesday and the public will hope to learn more details about a case which has shocked the island.

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