BERLIN — A US man has been charged with murder, rape and attempted murder over a deadly June attack against two American women near Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.
The 31-year-old suspect, who has not been publicly named, faces life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say he lured the women, aged 21 and 22, off the trail before sexually attacking the younger one.
A scuffle ensured when her friend tried to help, and both women were later pushed into a deep ravine.
The 21-year-old died of her injuries, but her older friend survived.
Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany’s southern Bavaria state is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. More than 1.3 million people visit the site on the foothills of the Alps each year.
Situated about 126km (78 miles) from Munich, it was built in the 19th Century and intended to serve as a residence for the rulers of the region, but was never occupied.
The prosecutors at the nearby town of Kempten say the attack happened on 14 June, shortly after the suspect met the two women near the Marienbrücke bridge, a popular viewpoint used by tourists to view the castle.
He led them to a hidden trail, on the pretext that the way to the bridge was difficult to navigate.
The man is accused of strangling the younger woman and raping her, before also pushing her down. The woman died of her injuries.
When her 22-year-old friend tried to intervene, he pushed her down the slope. She fell about 50m (164ft) and sustained numerous injuries, but survived.
The suspect was detained later that day after a massive police manhunt involving more than 25 vehicles.
Another American tourist, who witnessed the rescue and arrest, told the Associated Press news agency that the suspect had scratches across his face as he walked with police. — BBC