Moroccan police arrest suspect after two Scandinavian women found murdered in Atlas Mountains

A suspect has been arrested in Morocco after two young Scandinavian women were found murdered with their throats cut in the Atlas Mountains, the interior ministry said. 

Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, a 24-year-old from Denmark, and an unidentified 28-year-old woman from Norway were found dead in a remote mountain area on Monday. 

Morocco’s interior ministry said it had arrested one person in Marrakesh on Tuesday, around 37 miles from where the women’s bodies were found. Both women were found “with evidence of violence to their necks,” the ministry said. 

Other suspects are still being sought, according to officials. 

The bodies were found around six miles from the village of Imlil, which is often the starting point for treks to Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. 

Ms Jespersen wrote on Facebook in December that she was going to Morocco and asked for advice about Mount Toubkal. “Any of you guys whos around by then or any mountain friends who knows something about Mount Toubkal?” she asked. 

Helle Jespersen, her mother, said she urged her daughter not to go on the trip because of “the chaotic situation” in Morocco. 

"We advised her to go down because it’s such a chaotic place, and you’ve heard of people who have been killed down there," she told BT, a Danish newspaper.

Her mother said that Danish police had come to her home on Monday and told her that her daughter’s “throat had been cut”.

“I broke down,” the mother said. "She was always happy and positive. All people could with her and she brought out the best in everyone.”

She added that she was sceptical whether the killer or killers would be found. "I really want them to catch the guilty people, but I just think the chances are very small in such a country," she said.

The family said they were waiting for updates from Morocco.

Tourism accounts for around five per cent of Morocco’s total economy. The murders could potentially discourage other tourists from visiting.