An American man has been formally charged with a series of heinous crimes, including murder, following a brutal attack on two U.S. women near Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle in June, where he allegedly pushed them into a ravine, resulting in one fatality. Prosecutors announced these charges on Thursday.
The 31-year-old suspect, whose identity remains undisclosed to adhere to German privacy regulations, faces an indictment filed at the state court in Kempten. The court will be responsible for determining whether the case should proceed to trial.
According to prosecutors, the accused encountered the two American tourists, aged 21 and 22, coincidentally while on a hiking trail near the castle. He reportedly led them off the path and initiated an alarming sequence of events. The initial incident involved the younger woman being forced to the ground and subjected to an attempted assault.
In response to the situation, the older woman intervened, leading to a physical altercation. The suspect allegedly pushed her down a steep slope, causing her to fall approximately 50 meters, resulting in head injuries, bruises, and abrasions. Miraculously, she survived this ordeal.
Subsequently, the suspect is said to have strangled the younger woman until she lost consciousness and then committed sexual assault, before pushing her down the slope as well. Tragically, she did not survive.
Prosecutors also reported the discovery of incriminating evidence on the suspect’s laptop and cellphones, which contained materials related to child sexual abuse.
It’s important to note that the victims had no prior acquaintance with the perpetrator before the fateful encounter near Neuschwanstein. Authorities acted swiftly, apprehending the suspect shortly after the horrific attack.
Neuschwanstein Castle, situated near the Austrian border, is renowned as one of the castles constructed by King Ludwig II of Bavaria during the 19th century and serves as a major attraction for tourists from across the globe.
The accused faces an array of severe charges, including murder, rape leading to fatal consequences, attempted murder, and possession of child pornography. In Germany, murder charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
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This devastating incident unfolded on June 14 in the vicinity of Marienbrücke, a bridge spanning a gorge near the castle, renowned for offering a picturesque view of Neuschwanstein, one of Germany’s most iconic tourist destinations.