FAMILY and friends of a Swedish woman found dead after leaving her Edinburgh home say they have endured ten years of torture trying to find out how she died.
They believe Annie Borjesson was murdered some time after leaving her flat in Murieston Road.
The 30-year-old’s body was discovered on Prestwick beach ten years ago today, on December 4, 2005.
Police believe she drowned and that there are no suspicious circumstances.
But Annie’s mother, Guje, and close friend Maria Jansson have consistently claimed that evidence they have found suggests she was deliberately killed.
Ms Jansson spoke of the anguish felt by Annie’s friends and family and told how, on the tenth anniversary of her death, their pain is even harder to bear.
And they pleaded with the Crown Office to mark the poignant occasion by rethinking the case.
“Right now Guje and the family are even more heartbroken. We are all totally drained and still in shock,” she said.
“We take one day at a time. We still do not know if Annie died on the third or fourth of December.
“We do not know which day we should have the memorial service on.
“We have all these unanswered questions.”
Annie had been working at the Scottish Whisky Heritage Centre in the Royal Mile and was living at Linton Court Apartments in Murieston Road in 2005.
She is thought to have been heading for Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire to catch a flight home to spend Christmas in Sweden.
She had just paid a month’s rent on her flat, bought a leisure card for swimming and booked a hair appointment in Sweden – not, they claim, the actions of someone planning to take their own life.
She was found dead on the beach, with her bag nearby. Inside was her passport but the address book she usually carried with her and the fleece she was last seen wearing were gone.
A post-mortem found she had drowned and police concluded she had either taken her own life or died as the result of an accident.
But her family and friends insist she would not have killed herself. And they point to a series of unexplained elements such as mysterious bruising on her body, her long hair having been chopped off and strange people in Annie’s life at the time.
Messages before she died suggested she was afraid of a man she had met at Murrayfield, who had lied to her about being a Scottish rugby internationalist.
“When we spoke about his behaviour, both myself and Annie thought she needed to be careful,” recalled Ms Jansson.
“When I was told Annie had been found dead, the first thought was she had been murdered by this imposter.”
Among their concerns is a 16-hour gap between Annie being seen at Prestwick Airport and her body being found.
Annie’s family and friends have carried out their own CSI-style forensic investigations which they say revealed algae found in fresh water was in Annie’s bone marrow and not algae from sea water, adding to their argument that she did not drown in the sea.
A lack of sand in her eyes, nose, ears, mouth and gullet suggest she may have been killed elsewhere and her body dumped on the beach, they say.
Their calls for Annie’s case to be reopened have been supported by a petition signed by 3000 people from around the world. It has been presented to the Scottish Parliament.
Today, Ms Jansson said there is hope that new breakthroughs in forensic science can help establish what happened.
She said: “We do not think we have exhausted every domestic remedy yet. Forensic technique is making huge steps which leads to the reopening of cold cases to be scrutinised in a new, modern way.”
She added the case has taken a massive toll on Annie’s friends and family in Sweden and those who knew her in Edinburgh.
“Right now we have very little strength left. Ten years is an inhumanly long time, but we know there are other families that have fought for even longer to find the truth about what happened to their loved ones.
“It would be impossible to find out exactly what happened, however I believe the truth is out there and that is what keeps us going.”
The Crown Office said it has not ruled out reopening the case but only if “credible and reliable” evidence comes to light.
A spokesman said: “The death of Annie Borjesson was thoroughly investigated by Strathclyde Police and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, who gave detailed consideration to all the facts and circumstances of the case and concluded that there were no suspicious circumstances.
“The investigation concluded that Miss Borjesson, tragically, took her own life.
“Any new, credible and reliable evidence which comes to light will be considered.”
Ms Jansson said her friends and family will continue to fight.
“Annie loved life and was sure that she could handle everything. However, something terrible happened to her and we will never give up trying to find the truth so her case will be reopened.
“We will never come to terms with what has happened.”