A young Norwegian woman found murdered in London over the weekend was probably strangled, according to a preliminary autopsy report. Police have launched an international search for the man she partied with at a nightclub, the son of a wealthy Egyptian businessman.
Martine Vik Magnussen, age 23, is believed to have left the trendy Maddox nightclub with the 26-year-old man, who police fear already has fled to Yemen. Her body was found in the cellar of a London apartment building where the Egyptian is believed to have lived.
Vik Magnussen, herself the daughter of an affluent couple living on the suburban island of Nesøya outside Oslo, had often partied with the wealthy 26-year-old. "He took Martine to parties and clubs in London," one of her friends told newspaper VG. "He was a popular man who knew a lot of people."
He was at the Maddox nightclub, which also attracts celibrities like Madonna and Amy Winehouse, on Thursday night along with Vik Magnussen and several other students from Regents College. Friends of hers who left the club at around 3am Friday have said Vik Magnussen stayed and planned to continue partying with the 26-year-old.
She never came home to the flat she shared with three friends. They say they desperately tried to contact the 26-year-old, to ask whether he knew where Vik Magnussen was, but he didn't respond. By that time, he may already have fled the country, and Interpol reportedly has been called in to help find him.
Police confirmed during the night that Vik Magnussen's body showed signs of serious injury to the throat area. A more detailed autopsy report is expected.
'Thoughtful and kind'
While British newspaper are describing Vik Magnussen as a "posh beauty" and "young socialite," her friends describe her as thoughtful and kind, cheerful and a good student. "She loved school and had a fabulous future ahead of her," one of her closest friends, Hedda Homme, told Aftenposten. Her death, Homme said, "is just incomprehensible."
Vik Mangussen grew up on the island of Nesøya, west of Oslo in suburban Asker, and attended the private and prestigious Christian school Kristelig Gymnasium in Oslo. Several members of Norway's royal family also have attended the school.
She initially went on to study medicine in Poland, but wasn't comfortable there and returned to Norway after half-a-year. She worked in a high-priced clothing store on Oslo's fashionable street Bygdøy allé before moving early last year to London, where she worked at a Mulberry clothing store before starting business studies at Regent's College.
"This is just tragic and absurd," said another friend, Henriette Marie Hansson, who knew Vik Rasmussen since she was three years old. "We're all in shock."
Source: Aftenposten (English)
British police are looking for Farouk Abdulhak, 21, a Yemeni national, in connection with the murder investigation.
Source: Sky (English)