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CRIMINAL

Body parts found in missing woman search

Human remains were found in a military building in northern Sweden on Monday night during the search for a 20-year-old woman who has been missing for two weeks.

Body parts found in missing woman search

The body parts were found in an old military building near Boden in northern Sweden, where 20-year-old Vatchareeya Bangsuan went missing on Saturday, May 4th. Police have not yet identified the body parts, and have not ruled out a crime.

“The forensic team has stated that there are body parts that are in the building,” chief investigator Kenneth Rautio said in a press conference.

“We are looking further for more body parts.”

Police have no estimate on when the forensic analysis will be complete, but have assigned the case a priority label as it involves a missing person. There is not yet any “absolute” evidence that the remains are from the missing woman.

Volunteers at the Missing People organization were responsible for the discovery, and have been given counselling. Local police praised the efforts of the volunteers.

“Missing People is a really good organization that can search in a different way than we can,” Per Karlsson of the Norrbotten police told the TT news agency.

Police would not comment on whether the military building was being treated as a potential scene of a crime. Police have made no arrests, but stated that the public need not be worried.

TT/The Local/og

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AFGHANISTAN

How Samir got a job teaching Swedish – after two years in Sweden

Samir Ahmad fled Afghanistan after getting threats from the Taliban. Skip forward two years and he has just landed a job teaching Swedish — on the same day his residence permit came through.

How Samir got a job teaching Swedish - after two years in Sweden
Samir Ahmad was recently offered a job as an assistant teacher. Photo: Private
The 25-year-old business graduate speaks five languages and previously worked as a financial manager for the Afghan government, helping international donors direct resources where they were most needed for the country's development.  

What was your work like, and why did the Taliban target you? 

We had a project that was funded by the US and a few other international donors. I was in contact with high-level officials and we were doing important development work. 

Unfortunately the Taliban, who don’t want to see Afghanistan develop, knew about me and started to send me warnings and threats.  What made it really dangerous was that I was living in an area inhabited by many Taliban members.  

Every time I remember my life back home it hurts. I was working hard and hoping to see my country develop. 

Tell us about your journey to Sweden. 

I fled from Afghanistan to Pakistan in June 2014. After less than a week I managed to fly to Sweden through Dubai — with the help of a smuggler, of course, who took a lot of money. When I arrived in Sweden I applied for asylum.  

It was hard to flee from Afghanistan to Pakistan, especially as I had no documents. I just left with no documents at all. It was stressful. I was scared and had no hope for the future.

I didn’t know if I’d be safe in Pakistan, because the Taliban exists there as well, and you never know who is Taliban and who’s not. They dress like everyone else. Also, I was in Pakistan illegally but didn’t think I had a choice. 

I wasn’t sure I’d find a smuggler, but a friend put me in touch with someone who promised me safe passage to Europe. The smuggler chose my destination, not me. 

Throughout the entire journey I didn’t know what country I was going to end up in. When we arrived at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport the smuggler took away our false documents and told us to find our own way. 

What have been the best and worst things about starting a new life in Sweden?

The worst thing is thinking back on my previous life in Afghanistan. Everything I’d built up over 24 years just vanished in a few days. Not to mention my family and all the great memories I have of them. 

It’s not that easy to build a good life in Afghanistan, but I had my own apartment, car, work and had almost everything I wanted. And so when I was moved to the asylum centre here in Sweden, I felt very bad. I was put in a room with five others, and the hygiene conditions weren’t that good. For example, the toilet was mostly grimy and really stank. 

But the warm welcome and kindness from the migration agency’s staff made up for all of that — it gives one hope. 

What are you doing now, and how did it come about?

I started studying Swedish on my own. Then I got the chance to further improve my Swedish with Klondyk, a project for refugees run by ABF here in Boden in northern Sweden. I later came into contact with the Afghan association in Boden and started to participate in different voluntary activities. 

In September 2014 I got an internship as an administrator and interpreter with a company that helps refugees integrate. They wanted to offer me a job but then the government pulled the plug on the scheme [Etableringslots] that was partly funding them. 

I volunteered as a seller at Pingstkyrkan Secondhand, a chef at Ria Oasen-Boden, an interpreter at BodenFlyktinghjälp [refugee assistance], and a part-time Swedish assistant at ABF Boden. 

This March I started my internship as a Swedish language assistant teacher at Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan – and a month later I was offered a job. It’s due to start after the summer holidays. 

We have more than 300 students from 23 countries, and I really enjoy helping them, especially when I see the students starting to speak or write in Swedish

What advice do you have for others in your situation?

Use every second of your time learning Swedish, establish yourself in Swedish society and help each other with everyday activities. Finally, and most importantly, respect Sweden’s laws.

Undereducated refugees need to work harder to find their own ways in the society. And I think we, the educated, need to help them doing so. Now I speak Swedish and I feel very well assimilated into the society, I think I am an example of an integrated newcomer. 

What are your future plans? 

I want to complete my education and get a PhD. I’d like to become a university lecturer and assist in the development of Swedish society. 

Photo: Private