A 21-year-old American woman died after being assaulted and pushed down a slope by an American man near one of Germany’s most popular tourist sights, Neuschwanstein Castle, in Bavaria, according to local police.
The woman died overnight after sustaining serious injuries, police in Bavaria said in a statement issued Thursday.
The victim had gone for a hike on Wednesday with her friend, a 22-year-old American woman, near the historic “Marienbrücke,” a bridge known for its views of the Neuschwanstein Castle.
The two women then met a 30-year-old American man who persuaded them to follow him down a hidden trail leading to a viewpoint, according to police.
Both women were American tourists and the man was previously unknown to them, Thomas Hoermann, a spokesperson at the prosecutor’s office in the town of Kempten in Bavaria, told CNN.
After leading the women down the trail, the man “physically attacked” the 21-year-old woman, according to police. The man then choked the 22-year-old woman and pushed her down a steep slope after she intervened to help her friend.
Police believe the man then attempted to commit a sexual offense against the 21-year-old victim. He then pushed her down the slope, causing her to fall about 50 meters below her friend.
The two women were rescued by the Füssen mountain rescue service Wednesday afternoon, according to police. Rescue services airlifted the 21-year-old to a hospital, where she later died. Her friend was able to speak when found by rescuers and was also taken to the hospital.
A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Germany told CNN Thursday that the embassy is “aware of an incident involving multiple individuals in Germany” without confirming their nationalities.
“The US Consulate in Munich is monitoring the situation closely and is in contact with authorities,” the spokesperson said.
The embassy said it was not able to comment further at the time due to privacy considerations.
The attacker, who fled the scene, is in police custody, according to police. He is being investigated on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and attempted sexual offense, police added.