A 31-year-old American man has been charged with murder and several other offenses for a violent attack on two U.S. women near Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany back in June. According to prosecutors, the suspect, whose identity remains undisclosed in accordance with German privacy regulations, now faces a judicial process that will determine whether and when a trial should proceed.
The charges against him include murder, rape resulting in fatal consequences, attempted murder, and possession of child pornography. In Germany, a conviction on murder charges carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The attack occurred on June 14 near Marienbruecke, a bridge over a gorge near the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle, a renowned tourist destination in Germany.
Prosecutors allege that the suspect encountered the two female tourists, aged 21 and 22, by chance while on a hiking path and subsequently lured them away from the trail. Initial reports suggest that he forcibly pushed the younger woman to the ground and attempted to undress her. When the older woman attempted to intervene, a struggle ensued, leading the suspect to push her down a steep slope, causing her to fall approximately 50 meters (165 feet). Although she survived, she suffered head injuries, bruises, and abrasions.
Tragically, the suspect allegedly strangled the younger woman until she lost consciousness, subsequently sexually assaulting her before pushing her down the slope as well. The younger woman succumbed to her injuries and passed away.
Prosecutors have reported the seizure of the suspect’s laptop and cellphones, which contained material related to child sexual abuse.
Authorities have clarified that the victims were not acquainted with the suspect prior to their encounter near Neuschwanstein Castle. The suspect was arrested shortly after the attack.
Neuschwanstein Castle, situated near the Austrian border, is one of the most famous castles constructed during the 19th century, commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It continues to be a significant attraction for tourists from around the globe.