German police appeal for images as Americans pushed two woman down steep slope

Jun 16, 2023, 3:20 AM | Updated: 3:54 pm

HOHENSCHWANGAU, GERMANY - JUNE 11:  Schloss Neuschwanstein castle stands in this aerial view in the...

HOHENSCHWANGAU, GERMANY - JUNE 11: Schloss Neuschwanstein castle stands in this aerial view in the early morning on June 11, 2015 near Hohenschwangau, Germany. Schloss Neuschwanstein, built by Bavarian King Ludwig II, also known as Mad King Ludwig, is among Bavaria's biggest tourist attractions and major landmarks. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

BERLIN (AP) — Police in southern Germany are appealing for photos and videos taken by witnesses of an attack near Neuschwanstein castle in which an American man allegedly pushed two women down a steep slope, killing one of them. A suspect was arrested following the attack.

German news agency dpa quoted police as saying Friday that they have so far received about a dozen submissions on a specially created website, but assume many more images were taken by tourists present at the site.

FUESSEN, GERMANY – JUNE 16: View of Schloss Neuschwanstein and the Marienbrücke bridge over the Poellat gorge after the death of a 21-year-old American student, on June 16, 2023, near Füssen, Germany. A 30-year-old American man is in custody. According to police the man met two female American students on the Marienbruecke bridge and coaxed them to join him on a hiking trail near the gorge. He reportedly attacked the 21-year-old, and when her 22-year-old companion attempted to intervene, he pushed the 22-year-old into the gorge. After attempting to rape the 21-year-old he pushed her into the gorge as well. The 21-year-old died in hospital after being airlifted out by helicopter, while the 22-year-old remains in critical condition. (Photo by Leonhard Simon/Getty Images)

“We are looking for photographs which, by chance, show two young women and a man (approx. 30 years old) who were staying east of the Marienbruecke,” Kempten police said on their website. “These persons may have been walking together or separately.”

The Marienbruecke, or Mary’s Bridge, is a popular vantage point for photos of Neuschwanstein, the most famous of the castles built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century.

According to the initial police investigation, the suspect met the two female tourists, Americans aged 21 and 22, on a hiking path and lured them onto a trail that leads to a viewpoint.

“The younger of the two women was attacked by the suspect,” police spokesman Holger Stabik said. “The older one tried to rush to her aid, was then choked by the suspect and subsequently pushed down a slope.”

The assailant then appears to have attempted to sexually assault the 21-year-old before pushing her down the slope as well, prosecutors said. She fell nearly 50 meters (165 feet), ending up close to her friend.

Both women were recovered by mountain rescuers. The 21-year-old was flown to a hospital with serious injuries and later died. The 22-year-old remains hospitalized, but is “responsive,” police said.

Authorities haven’t named either of the victims or given any further details.

The suspect, who likewise was not identified, remains in custody on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, prosecutors said, adding it wasn’t clear how long he had been in the country.

The U.S. Embassy in Berlin said it was aware of the incident and the consulate in Munich was in contact with authorities.

“Due to privacy considerations, we are unable to comment further at this time,” the embassy said in a statement.

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German police appeal for images as Americans pushed two woman down steep slope