An American man threw two American tourists 165 feet down a ravine near a world-famous German castle, killing one after he sexually assaulted her and her partner tried to fight him off, reports claim.
The horrific attack occurred on Wednesday at Neuschwanstein Castle, said to be the inspiration for Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ castle. The man was later arrested and is being investigated for murder, attempted murder and a sex crime.
Footage from the scene allegedly showed him being led away in handcuffs.
The two women, aged 21 and 22, met the man, 30, near the Marienbrücke, a narrow pedestrian bridge that at its highest point spans 300 feet over the gorge and offers stunning views of the castle.
The man allegedly persuaded them to follow him down a secluded path that led to a good overlook, where he “physically attacked” the 21-year-old.
When her friend tried to intervene, he allegedly strangled her and pushed her down a steep incline. Police believe “an attempted sexual offence” was committed against the 21-year-old, before she too was pushed down the slope.
She fell along with her friend about 165 feet below. The couple were airlifted but the 21-year-old woman died in hospital overnight while her 22-year-old partner is still being treated for her injuries, according to German media reports.
Pictured: A helicopter and rescue workers are seen in the ravine on Wednesday, where a man reportedly pushed two women in a shocking attack.
An American man threw two American tourists 165 feet down a ravine (pictured) near a world-famous German castle, killing one after he sexually assaulted her and her partner tried to fight him off, according to reports.
The suspect fled the scene but was caught after a massive police operation involving 25 emergency vehicles on Wednesday afternoon and taken to a police station in nearby Füssen. Pictured: The footage allegedly shows the man being led away in handcuffs.
The suspect fled the scene but was caught after a massive police operation involving 25 emergency vehicles on Wednesday afternoon and taken to a police station in nearby Füssen, it added.
A witness video posted online showed a man in a T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap being handcuffed by police, while another video showed one of the victims being carried out of the ravine by a mountain rescue helicopter.
The video, filmed from above the ravine, also showed German mountain rescue service officers in the gorge, working to save the women.
According to local police, the couple met the 30-year-old American tourist on a footpath on or near the Marienbrücke bridge, which is very popular as it offers a view of the 19th-century Neuschwanstein castle, which receives around 1.4 million visitors per year. , and about 6,000 per day in summer.
Then he led them to a hidden path that led to a lookout, and attacked the 21-year-old, police said. When the 22-year-old intervened, the man strangled her and pushed her down a steep slope.
“According to the current state of knowledge, an attempted sexual offense against the 21-year-old girl must be presumed,” police said in a statement in English.
The 21-year-old was also pushed down the slope, where she came to a stop after falling almost 50 meters, they added.
Criminal police have taken over the attempted murder and murder investigation, as well as a sex crime, with the current focus on reconstructing exactly how the incident occurred, police said.
Under German law, suspects must appear before a judge in a closed-door hearing by the end of the calendar day after their arrest if investigators intend to keep them in custody.
Police said a judge in nearby Kempten on Thursday ordered him detained pending a possible charge and taken to jail.
The two women, ages 21 and 22, met the man, 30, near the Marienbrücke bridge (pictured), a narrow footbridge that at its highest point crosses the gorge at 300 feet.
Chief prosecutor Thomas Hörmann told Bild: “The crime happened on Wednesday around 2:40 pm.” The two tourists met the man on a hiking tour east of the Marienbrücke. And joined him.
He said the trio walked to a popular viewpoint, where the man physically attacked the 21-year-old women. Her friend fought back, she said.
“The 22-year-old wanted to help so he strangled her and pushed her down the slope.”
Hörmann said the 21-year-old also fell into the ravine, where they lay next to each other at a “depth of about 50 metres” (165 feet).
The 22-year-old responded, the prosecutor said. Her friend was airlifted to the hospital where she was pronounced dead overnight.
The motive for the attack is still unclear, while all parties remain unnamed.
A man who witnessed the aftermath of the incident told MailOnline he saw a man ‘with a bloody face’ walk away from the attraction in handcuffs.
Eric Abneri, a 21-year-old tourist from New York, said he and his friends arrived at the castle Wednesday afternoon when they heard the sound of a helicopter overhead.
Abneri filmed the footage of the helicopter and the man being taken away.
‘We saw two or three men repelling (towards the ravine) and we were confused, until I noticed the woman in blue who we thought had fallen.
They rescued the woman. Not sure who survived and the helicopter flew away, then came back for the other rescuers. Shortly after we saw the bridge again and it was closed with police presence.
Abneri said there was a large police presence at the scene. “We waited and a man with a bloody face came out in handcuffs,” she said.
Police were seen interviewing witnesses to the attack “who seemed shocked”, he added, saying the bridge was later reopened to the public.
According to police, the women met the 30-year-old American tourist on a footpath on or near the Marienbrücke bridge, which is very popular as it offers a view of the 19th century Neuschwanstein castle, which receives around 1.4 million of visitors per year.
The construction of Neuschwanstein Castle was completed in 1886 after almost 20 years. It is located in the Swabia region of Bavaria, close to the Alps and the Austrian border.
Its construction was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who wanted a holiday home to escape to from the Bavarian capital of Munich.
He paid for the castle with his personal fortune and a large loan, but never saw it completed. He died in 1886, shortly before he opened.
Since then, more than 61 million people have visited it.
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