Police believe ‘abducted’ wife of one of Norway’s richest men has been killed

The wife of one of Norway’s richest men who was apparently abducted eight months ago might have been killed, police have said, adding they “cannot exclude a staged kidnapping to hide it”.

Authorities have been tight-lipped about the case of 69-year-old Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, who was last seen alive on October 31.

She is the wife of Tom Hagen, a media-shy real estate investor and owner of an electric company.

It was believed she was kidnapped after a note was found in their house, east of Oslo, saying she would be killed if a ransom was not paid.

Norwegian media reported at the time that a ransom of nine million euros, to be paid in cryptocurrency, was demanded.

Chief police investigator Tommy Broeske said on Wednesday that detectives have now changed their “main hypothesis” about the case because of the absence of any signs of Ms Falkevik Hagen’s life or recent contact with the alleged kidnappers.

Police said earlier that the alleged kidnappers had communicated with Tom Hagen by means of a digital platform that was not answerable.

“The most likely is that she has been exposed to a serious crime but we consider it less likely that we are facing abduction with an economic motive.

“The main hypothesis has been changed to that she has been killed,” he told reporters.

He added that police have no motive for the alleged murder.

He declined to say whether anyone has been arrested.

Police were informed about Ms Falkevik Hagen’s disappearance on October 31 but did not publicly speak about it until January 9, after which hundreds of tips poured in.

Mr Hagen, a property investor and owner of power facilities, is number 172 on a list of Norway’s wealthiest people published by the financial magazine Kapital, with a fortune estimated to be nearly 1.7bn kroner (€176m) in 2018.