- Louisa Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were found dead in Morocco with “evidence of violence to their necks” on December 18.
- Their bodies were found in their tent 6 miles outside the village of Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains.
- The women, who studied together at the University of South-Eastern Norway, had been backpacking through Morocco.
- Three suspects were arrested in Marrakesh in connection to the women’s deaths.
Three men have been arrested in Morocco after two Scandinavian backpackers were found dead in their tent near a popular hiking spot.
The bodies of Louisa Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were discovered 6 miles outside the village of Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains on December 18.
The women’s bodies had “evidence of violence to their necks,” the Moroccan Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The three men arrested in connection to the women’s deaths are residents of Marrakech, Norway Today reported. Their names have not been released.
The women, who studied together at the University of South-Eastern Norway, were on a monthlong trip across the North African country when they were killed, The Sun reported.
A source told Morocco World News that the suspects were in the area the night of the killings, saying, “witnesses saw the group at night as they were heading to the camp area.” The source said that police had identified the suspects from video surveillance in Imlil and that one of the suspects left his ID behind at the camp.
Imlil is a popular starting point for hiking tours to Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. Security has been increased in the region following the double killing.
Danish police sent an officer to Morocco on Wednesday to assist with the investigation, and the French Alpine Club of Casablanca is investigating whether the women were travelling with a guide, according to France 24.
In the days before travelling to Imlil, Jespersen had written on Facebook asking for advice about climbing Mount Toubkal. “Any of you guys whos around by then or any mountain friends who knows something about Mount Toubkal?” she asked.
Her mother, Helle Jespersen, told Danish newspaper BT that she urged her daughter not to go on the trip.
“It’s such a chaotic place, and you’ve heard of people who have been killed down there,” she said.
Ueland’s mother said her daughter’s “first priority was safety.”
“The girls had taken all the precautionary measures before embarking on this trip,” she told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
The women were studying “outdoor activities and cultural guidance” at the University of South-Eastern Norway, according to NRK.
An investigation into their deaths is still ongoing.
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