Wall’s boyfriend reported her as missing on Aug. 11 after she did not return from a trip on Peter Madsen’s homemade submarine, the Nautilus. She had been researching a feature story about Madsen and private submarines at the time.
Police confirmed on Aug. 23 that Wall’s body was discovered in the area where the submarine trip occurred. Madsen, 46, has been held on preliminary charges of involuntary manslaughter.
As quoted in the The New York Times, Wall’s mother, Ingrid Wall, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that “it is with boundless sadness and shock that we received news that the remains of our daughter and sister Kim Wall have been found. We cannot yet grasp the extent of this catastrophe and there are many questions that must be answered.”
Wall was a Swedish freelance journalist based in New York, who recently reported from China, Africa and Haiti.
She frequently wrote about identity, gender, pop-culture, social justice and foreign policy.
Wall graduated with honors from Columbia University, where she studied masters degrees in Journalism and International Affairs. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics & Political Science.
Wall reported from the Marshall Islands in 2015 with OPC members Hendrik Hinzel and Coleen Jose on the leaking Runit Dome that houses radioactive waste.
That reporting was awarded the Hanzel Mieth Prize for Best Digital Reportage.
A friend and colleague, Sruthi Gottipati, wrote in the Guardian about her meeting with Wall during a reporting trip to Uganda that was supported by the International Women’s Media Foundation.
Gottipati wrote about the increasing dangers freelance journalists face as news budgets shrink and media companies depend on them more and more.
She said amid fierce competition, female freelancers tend to downplay the dangers they face.
Gottipati called Wall’s death “a chilling reminder that women’s safety can’t be shrugged off as a problem specific to developing countries, as if the west is immune to misogyny.”
Wall’s work has appeared in Harpers, The Guardian, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Vice Magazine, Slate, South China Morning Post, The Atlantic, Roads & Kingdoms and TIME, among other publications. Her writing has been translated into several languages.