Three men arrested for the double murder

Morroco Police Ueland Double MurderA screengrab from a video published in the Moroccan news channel 2M shows the police at the venue in the Atlas Mountains where Norwegian Maren Ueland and Danish Louisa Vesterager Jespersen were found dead on Monday. Photo: AFP / / NTB scanpix

Three men arrested for the double murder in Morocco

Three Moroccan men were arrested by Moroccan police on Tuesday, suspected of killing Norwegian Maren Ueland (28) and Danish Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (24).


All three men were arrested in Marrakech, located about seven miles north of the Atlas Mountains where the two students were found dead on Monday. According to Moroccan media, all three men are inhabitants of Marrakech.

The two women, Maren Ueland (28) from Bryne in Rogaland and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (24) from Ikast in West Jutland, Denmark, were found killed near the village of Imlil.

Moroccan authorities state that the two have cuts to their throats inflicted by a sharp object. Local sources state that the women were stabbed with knives by unknown persons.

According to several media, the suspects allegedly camped near the place where the two women had settled for the night in the popular hiking area on northern Africa’s tallest mountain, Toubkal. According to eyewitnesses, the suspects left the area around 3 am the night before the women were found.

– The suspects camped in the area where the murders occurred. Witnesses saw the group during the night as they were en route to the campsite, a source tells the Moroccan newspaper Morrocco World News (MWN).

Studied outdoors-life

Both of the murder victims were students at the University of Southeastern Norway (USN) at Bø in Telemark, where fellow students and teachers gathered on Tuesday. Outside the university, the flag flew half-mast. The two students attended the second year of a bachelor program in outdoor activities that the university at Bø offers.

Maren Ueland’s mother, Irene Ueland, says that they read about the murders on Monday night and feared that it was Maren and her Danish study mate that was involved.

– I called the police emergency number. The police knew nothing but would check. A little later they called me while I was driving the car from Varhaug back home to Bryne. They asked me to find a place to stop.  I realised that what we feared the most had happened, Irene Ueland tells Stavanger Aftenblad.

Found by tourists

It was other tourists in the area who found the two dead women. A source tells MWN that a local guide met crying tourists who told about what they had encountered. The guide contacted the local police in turn.

According to this source, robbery can all but be ruled out as a motive, as none of the two women’s assets is missing.

Kripos worked through Interpol on Monday and Tuesday with the Moroccan police to clarify questions about the course of events and whether there is a need for assistance from Norwegian police.

A Norwegian police officer attached to the Norwegian embassy is already in place in Marrakech and acts as a liaison between Norwegian and Moroccan police. The Norwegian ambassador is also present in the city.

Maren Ueland

Maren Ueland (28) from Bryne who is found dead in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco on Monday. Photo: Private / NTB scanpix


Louisa Vesterager Jespersen’s mother tells the Danish newspaper B.T. that she asked her daughter not to travel because of the chaotic situation in Morrocco.

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has updated its travel advice for Morocco after the deaths and now warns against hiking on your own without a guide in the mountain areas. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) has not changed their travel advice, saying that most travel in Morocco is considered to be problem-free, but the UD emphasises that «precautions must be made».

– Everyone here is very surprised and quite put out about what has happened, the Morrocon based Norwegian Thor Arne Hauer. He arranges tours in the area where the women were found. Hauer points out that Morocco is faring well on the list of dangerous travel destinations for tourists.

The family is in deep mourning

Maren Ueland’s family who is killed in Morocco, is in deep mourning, explains the family’s Counselling Attorney, Ragnar Falck Paulsen.

– They are of course in deep mourning. My role is to care for Maren Ueland’s mother and family, Paulsen tells NTB.

He informs that he was contacted by councillor Trygve Apeland in Time Municipality on Tuesday afternoon. The counsellor informed him that he had learned that Ueland’s mother wanted him as her legal representative in the case. He was awarded the assignment at 2 pm and confirmed the assignment to the Jæren District Court later in the day.

– I have talked to the mother of the deceased. She has asked me to relate to the media, police and prosecution so she does not have to do it herself. I know her from before and she is grateful that I can accept this assignment, Paulsen states.

– She herself tries to take care of her other children and her family and concentrates on that. My role in the case is to try and shield her and the family. I have promised her to try to get information about the matter from both the media and the police and relay to her,  the lawyer explains.

See also:

Two Women found murdered in Morocco

© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today



6 Comments on "Three men arrested for the double murder"

  1. What part of -Traveling in the third world can be dangerous.- escaped their attention?
    In some countries the Rule of Law ends at the last checkpoint on the edge of town.
    There are places even locals will not go without an armed escort.
    Consider who says it is safe. Those interested in selling tours?
    Travel armed/trained in Groups. The clueless become statistics.
    Concealed weapons carry should be a standard for responsible adults.
    People are polite when all are armed… .

  2. I’m from morocco marrakech and we are so sorry for what happened to these two our guests people are so upset police looking for the stupid freaking people who did this.
    Morocco is safe country we got visitors around the world more than ten million tourist so not fair judge Fourty million of people because of three sick people.
    People are different Everwhere and that’s can happen.
    We are so sorry for this tragidy and all my support for their family.

  3. I’m moroccan and I’m telling you that the outskirts of the cities are absolutely not safe. Locals themselves don’t go to such places… even the cities can be dangerous… a lot of Moroccans are mentally disturbed and sexually oppressed and the sight of a white female is irresistible. They are also great Moroccans but don’t take chances. Don’t go to Morocco and I hope Norway make this a worldwide issue so that the world know that it is not a safe place at all

  4. Mes condoléances pour la famille et les proches. Je voulais dire que la meilleure mesure de prudence quand on veut aller dans ces pays est de ne pas s’y rendre. Ils ont la même mentalité que nous…il y a 600 ans!

  5. Marco Baffetti | 21. December 2018 at 10:55 |

    I am Italian but also i like to say i am citizen of the world. I felt the need to be close to both families for the huge tragedy, despite i don’t know them. So yesterday i searched by Google for someone in Denmark and Norway able to help me. Here is the mail i wrote to Norway Today:” … i am pushed to write after i read the news of your student
    killed in Morocco together her Danish mate. I saw their photo, so smiling,
    happy and lovely. Two girls building their future. Two flowers which were
    growing have been destroyed by fanatism of “something” which is not possible
    to call human being. I felt very bad inside thinking to what happened.
    There are no words to explain it. Felt the wish to be close in some way. I
    looked for danish and norwegian newspapers on google and first was yours one.
    I ask you – please – the favour to let know in some way to Maren’s Ueland
    parents and her relatives my sincere regret, commotion and deep sadness for
    what happened. I don’t know how to pray but today i am always thinking to
    those girls and i want to say that there is no indifference in this world.
    Thank you for your time reading my words and your help to share them with
    Maren’s family.
    Italy ”

    NorwayToday suggested to leave my comment here, as well as they supplied a link to FB.
    I have saved that joyful photo published yesterday of both girls together on my desktop at work, to remember them and their smile and friendship. I think this is the best way than the words and wanted the families know that.

    PS: Yesterday in Trento (Italy) was celebrated the religious function for the Italian student/journalist killed in Strasbourg by another fanatic crazy man. His name was Antonio Megalizzi.

  6. Rainer Pomplun | 29. December 2018 at 19:29 |

    Es ist so furchtbar und so traurig und gleichzeitig unfassbar. Es gibt keinen Trost. Wir hoffen, dass die Täter ihre gerechte Strafe bekommen und werden alles tun, damit diese fanatischen Islamisten niemals unser Land betreten. Unser aufrichtiges Beileid gilt den Familien beider jungen Frauen. R.I.P

Comments are closed.