A tourist has died and another has serious is fighting for her life after a man threw them off a bridge into a ravine at a famous ‘fairytale’ German castle.
The American tourists, aged 21 and 22, fell 165ft down a ravine at Neuschwanstein, near the Austrian border.
According to German tabloid Bild, the attacker was also American and aged 30.
Police said the man fled but was arrested after the incident on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old attacker reportedly sexually assaulted the two women before a fight broke out.
When the 22-year-old intervened, the man strangled her and threw her into a ravine below, the BR public broadcaster reported.
Neuschwanstein is one of Germany‘s most popular tourist attractions and is said to have been the inspiration for the Disney Cinderella Castle.
According to reports, the women were either thrown over the railing or pushed down a steep slope into the ravine.
A 21-year-old woman was rushed to hospital via helicopter but died overnight in hospital.
Her 22-year-old companion is still in hospital with injuries.
Chief Public Prosecutor Thomas Hörmann told Bild: “The crime happened on Wednesday around 2:40pm. The two tourists met the man on a hiking tour east of the Marienbrücke. And joined him.
The attack took place near the Marienbruecke, a bridge over a gorge close to the castle that offers a famous view of Neuschwanstein, German news agency DPA reported.
Authorities said the three apparently took a path to a viewpoint, where the man attacked the younger woman.
The suspect was caught after a massive police operation involving 25 emergency vehicles on Wednesday afternoon and taken to a police station in nearby Fuessen, it added.
The motive for the attack is still unclear and all parties remain unnamed.
The suspect left the scene but was arrested quickly nearby. Bystander video posted online showed police leading away a handcuffed man in a T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap. Witness Eric Abneri, a recent business graduate from the University of Pittsburgh who shot the video, said the man appeared to have scratches across his face. “He did not say a single word. He didn’t open his mouth; he didn’t mumble,” Abneri told The Associated Press. “He just walked with the police and that was it.” Abneri said he and friends arrived at the scenic overlook as a helicopter arrived and they saw rescuers lower themselves down to the victims. “I’m honestly absolutely stunned someone is still alive from this. It is like falling from the top of an absolute cliff,” he said. Abneri described it as “a very, very difficult rescue because of those cliffs and because the helicopter came mere feet above the tree line at the top of the hill.” “They did an unbelievable job,” he said.
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