German police have arrested an American male tourist for killing a woman and assaulting another near one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions, authorities said Thursday.
The two female, American tourists met and joined the 30-year-old man on a hiking trail Wednesday afternoon. They were near the Marienbrücke, a bridge that offers a view of Bavaria’s famous Neuschwanstein castle, when the male tourist allegedly lured the women to a hard-to-see trail that leads to a lookout point.
“There, he physically attacked the 21-year-old woman. When the 22-year-old wanted to intervene, he choked her and then pushed her down a steep slope,” German police said .
Authorities said the man attempted to sexually assault the 21-year-old, then he pushed her down the same slope, leaving her to fall nearly 160 feet and land next to her friend.
A mountain rescue service brought the injured but responsive 22-year-old to a hospital, and a helicopter carried the severely injured 21-year-old to a different hospital. She died there overnight, while her friend remains hospitalized.
The male suspect fled but was arrested near the scene shortly after. Footage from another American tourist, Eric Abneri, shows police leading away the handcuffed man, who wore a T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap.
Abneri told The Associated Press the man appeared to have scratches on his face. He and his friends also saw the specially trained rescuers reach the victims, a steep terrain rescue he said seemed “very, very difficult.”
“I’m honestly absolutely stunned someone is still alive from this. It is like falling from the top of an absolute cliff,” he told the AP.
The male suspect was taken before a judge who ordered he be held pending a potential indictment, which could take months. He’s now in a correctional facility there while under investigation of attempted murder, murder and a sexual offense.