Three men have been arrested following the grisly decapitation murders of two female backpackers in Morocco.
The women were found dead in their tent — apparently butchered while they slept near the village of Imlil in the High Atlas mountain range late Monday.
Louisa Jespersen, 24, from Denmark and her friend Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway had been camping and backpacking on a month-long adventure in North Africa when the tragedy occurred.
One witness — who asked not be identified — told the Morocco World News that the women were “found decapitated,” although police have not confirmed this.
Their bodies were found about 11 km from a nearby village.
The three suspects are reportedly from Marrakesh and were camping in the same vicinity as the two victims.
“The suspects were camping in the same area that the murder took place,” a source told Morocco World News. “Witnesses saw the group at night as they were heading to the camp area.”
Detectives quickly zeroed in on the alleged killers that captured their images on CCTV in village stores. One of the men allegedly left behind his ID at the crime scene.
Ueland’s mother told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that her daughter was a “warm and engaged.”
“Her first priority was safety,” the heartbroken mother told NRK. “The girls had taken all the precautionary measures before embarking on this trip.”
Both women shared a love of the outdoors and learning new cultures. They met at the University of Southeastern Norway and became fast friends.
The area where they were murdered is a popular tourist destination and a stop on the hipster trail.