Video shows how US woman thrown into German ravine was only stopped from sheer drop by


An American tourist who miraculously survived after being thrown 165 feet off a cliff during a sight-seeing trip to Germany‘s ‘Cinderella’ castle was saved from almost certain death by a fallen tree, new footage of her rescue appears to show.

Police believe the 22-year-old woman was thrown over the edge after she tried to intervene when her friend was attacked by another US national – a 30-year-old man.

Her 21-year-old friend, also American, was also thrown down the cliff, but sadly died.

The video filmed by tourists at the main entrance to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle shows German mountain rescuers being lowered down from a helicopter to where the two women landed next to each other – half-way down the  steep cliff.

One of the women, who appears to be wearing a light blue top, can be seen moving around next to a fallen tree, some way down the steep slope. The fallen tree is right at the top of a sheer drop down a much steeper portion of the cliff.

Both women were airlifted to hospital, where the 21-year-old was pronounced dead. Were it not for the fallen tree, it appears that her friend would have likely also died.

An American tourist who miraculously survived after being thrown 165 feet off a cliff during a sight-seeing trip to Germany's 'Cinderella' castle was saved from almost certain death by a fallen tree, new footage of her rescue appears to show (pictured)

An American tourist who miraculously survived after being thrown 165 feet off a cliff during a sight-seeing trip to Germany's 'Cinderella' castle was saved from almost certain death by a fallen tree, new footage of her rescue appears to show (pictured)

An American tourist who miraculously survived after being thrown 165 feet off a cliff during a sight-seeing trip to Germany’s ‘Cinderella’ castle was saved from almost certain death by a fallen tree, new footage of her rescue appears to show (pictured)

The video filmed by tourists at the main entrance to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle shows German mountain rescuers being lowered down from a helicopter to where the two women landed next eachother - half-way down the steep cliff

The video filmed by tourists at the main entrance to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle shows German mountain rescuers being lowered down from a helicopter to where the two women landed next eachother - half-way down the steep cliff

The video filmed by tourists at the main entrance to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle shows German mountain rescuers being lowered down from a helicopter to where the two women landed next eachother – half-way down the steep cliff

The two women, aged 21 and 22, met the man, 30, near the Marienbrücke bridge (pictured), a narrow footbridge that at its highest point crosses the gorge at 300 feet

The two women, aged 21 and 22, met the man, 30, near the Marienbrücke bridge (pictured), a narrow footbridge that at its highest point crosses the gorge at 300 feet

The new video was filmed just by the entrance to the castle in south Germany.

Earlier, police told MailOnline that the surviving woman miraculously only suffered light injuries from the massive fall – cruising and a laceration. 

The 30-year-old American man has been held on charges of murder, attempted murder and one sexual offence. He was seen being led away from the scene in handcuffs with video taken by another tourist showing scratches on his face. 

Police said he has ‘had his say in court’ after refusing to speak to investigators.

The emergence of the new footage came as MailOnline revealed the three tourists had all been staying at the same Munich hotel. The victims did not know her assailant, but was on the same day trip excursion to the world famous  castle.

It opens showing the scene from a distance, with several tourists gathered looking out at a cliff face hundreds of feet away, as the helicopter descends.

The footage zooms in, and the woman becomes visible on the side of the cliff, sitting close to where the fallen tree appears to have stopped her fall.

The rescuers are lowered down towards her. Another clip MailOnline published yesterday showed one of the two women being airlifted away.

While the earlier clip showed the rescue efforts, the new clip contextualises the seen – and shows just how close the surviving American tourists came to falling even further down the cliff that runs to the south of Neuschwanstein castle.

Were it not the for tree, it appears she could have fallen hundreds of feet more, and would have been highly unlikely to survive. 

The two women are thought to have been attacked at around 2.40pm on Wednesday. Police say they met the man near the Marienbrücke bridge, a narrow footbridge that at its highest point crosses 300ft above a gorge – with a stream and waterfall underneath – and offers stunning views of the castle.

Police said the man allegedly persuaded them to follow him down a secluded trail that led to a good lookout point, where he ‘physically attacked’ the 21-year-old.

When her friend tried to intervene, he allegedly choked her and pushed her down a steep slope. Police believe ‘an attempted sexual offence’ was then committed against the 21-year-old, before she was also pushed down the slope.

She fell next to her friend some 165ft below.

The pair were airlifted away by helicopter, but the 21-year-old woman tragically died in hospital from injuries sustained in the fall.

Miraculously, her 22-year-old companion suffered only minor injuries – bruises and a laceration – and has since been able to make a statement to police.

She is expected to be released from hospital today. 

The suspect fled the scene, but was caught after a massive police operation involving 25 emergency vehicles.

He was taken to a police station in nearby town of Fuessen.

A witness video posted online showed a man in a T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap being led away in handcuffs by police, while another clip showed one of the victims being airlifted out of the ravine by a mountain rescue helicopter.  

Pictured: A helicopter and rescue workers are seen at the ravine on Wednesday, where two women were reportedly pushed down by a man in a shocking attack

Pictured: A helicopter and rescue workers are seen at the ravine on Wednesday, where two women were reportedly pushed down by a man in a shocking attack

Pictured: A helicopter and rescue workers are seen at the ravine on Wednesday, where two women were reportedly pushed down by a man in a shocking attack

All three of the US visitors had been staying at the budget Siebel Hotel (pictured) in the centre of Munich, around 50 miles away from the castle. They had travelled by coach to Neuschwanstein with other tourists

All three of the US visitors had been staying at the budget Siebel Hotel (pictured) in the centre of Munich, around 50 miles away from the castle. They had travelled by coach to Neuschwanstein with other tourists

All three of the US visitors had been staying at the budget Siebel Hotel in the centre of Munich, around 50 miles away from the castle. They had travelled by coach to Neuschwanstein with other tourists. 

Staff at the hotel confirmed that they had been visited by police on Wednesday afternoon hours after the alleged attack.

The two girls – who have yet to be formally named by police – shared a twin bed ground floor room at the £90 ($115) night hotel.

Staff identified the two women from social media photos and said they had sat together at breakfast.

The hotel manager told Mail Online the belongings of the two women had been removed from their first-floor room and put into storage.

The pair, from Illinois, had checked into the hotel on Tuesday and travelled the 55 miles to the castle near the town of Garmisch Partenkitchen on an organised tour.

A police source said the three US tourists had travelled to the castle together but were otherwise not known to each other. 

They are not thought to be from the same US state. 

The US State Department said they are aware of the incident and their consulate in Munich is monitoring the situation closely. Spokesman Matthew Miller said they were in close contact with the German authorities.

A spokesman for Bavarian police said: ‘We couldn’t verify yet which US state the suspect is from. Inquiries are still ongoing via German and American authorities. 

‘The suspect didn’t make any comments to police but in his hearing in court yesterday he did have his say in regards to remaining in custody. We don’t want to say exactly what he said, however,’ he told MailOnline.

Under German law, suspects must be brought before a judge at a closed-doors hearing by the end of the calendar day after their arrest if investigators intend to keep them in custody.

Police said a judge in nearby Kempten on Thursday ordered him held pending a potential indictment and he was taken to jail. 

Meanwhile, police are searching for video footage of the incident. As of 8am this morning, they said they had recieved a dozen submissions from visitors and that investigators would being scouring through it today for any new information.

The officials said they hoped the international coverage of the shocking attack would result in more people coming forward witnesses statements, as many of the people who visit the bridge are tourists from abroad. 

‘We are looking for photographs which, by chance, show two young women and a man (approximately 30 years old) who were staying east of the Marienbruecke,’ Kempten police said on their website. 

‘These persons may have been walking together or separately.’

The motive for the attack is still unclear, while all parties remain unnamed.

A US man hurled two female American tourists 165ft down a ravine (pictured) near a world famous German castle - killing one after he sexually assaulted her and her companion tried to fight him off, reports have claimed

A US man hurled two female American tourists 165ft down a ravine (pictured) near a world famous German castle – killing one after he sexually assaulted her and her companion tried to fight him off, reports have claimed 

The suspect fled the scene, but was caught after a massive police operation involving 25 emergency vehicles on Wednesday afternoon and taken to a police station in nearby Fuessen. Pictured: Footage purportedly shows the man being led away in handcuffs

A witness video posted online showed a man in a T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap being led away in handcuffs by police

The suspect fled the scene, but was caught after a massive police operation involving 25 emergency vehicles on Wednesday afternoon and taken to a police station in nearby Fuessen. A witness video posted online showed a man in a T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap being led away in handcuffs by police

Criminal police have taken over the investigation into attempted murder and murder, as well as a sexual offence, with the current focus on reconstructing exactly how the incident took place, police said. 

Police have created a tip line for witnesses to submit other footage or leads and until this morning, they received a dozen submissions, according to a spokesman. 

Local police spokesperson Holger Stabik told MailOnline they had received a dozen photos and video from other sight seers. Up to 6,000 people a day visit the castle. 

‘We are just going to see what comes up and meanwhile we are still looking for footage. Other than that, we have announced that the suspect is a US citizen and we are, right at the moment, talking to the consulate’. 

‘Right now we don’t have a proper address for the suspect. There is, of course an address noted, but we can’t yet tell for sure where it originates from, so all of this is going to the US authorities right at the moment, so that they can check it out.’

‘Furthermore, the suspect was of course interviewed and he didn’t tell anything to the police, but in front of the judge he then did but in terms of the content.’

He said the investigation could take several weeks or months and the suspect can be held for up to six months before he must be charged or released.

‘What is missing now and what’s going to happen within the next few weeks and months is that we are going to collect together all the stuff that we have, the evidence, and evaluate it forensically. 

‘And this is going to take some time,’ said the spokesman.

A man who witnessed the aftermath of the incident told MailOnline that he saw a man ‘with a bloodied face’ being led away from the attraction in handcuffs.

Eric Abneri, a 21-year-old tourist from New York, said he and his friends arrived at the castle on Wednesday afternoon when they heard the sound of a helicopter above.

According to police, the women encountered the 30-year-old American tourist on a trail on or near the Marienbrücke bridge, which is hugely popular as it offers a view of the 19th century Neuschwanstein castle - which sees around 1.4million visitors per year

According to police, the women encountered the 30-year-old American tourist on a trail on or near the Marienbrücke bridge, which is hugely popular as it offers a view of the 19th century Neuschwanstein castle – which sees around 1.4million visitors per year

Mr Abneri filmed the footage of the helicopter and the man being led away. 

‘We saw two or three men repelling (into the ravine) and were confused, until I noticed the woman in blue who we thought fell.

‘They rescued the woman. I’m unsure of who lived and the helicopter flew away, then came back for the other rescuers. Shortly after we went back to see the bridge and it was closed with a police presence.’

Mr Abneri said there was a large police presence at the scene. ‘We waited and a man with a bloodied face came out in handcuffs,’ he said.

Speaking later to the Associated Press, Abneri – a recent business graduate from the University of Pittsburgh – 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 said. ‘He just walked with the police and that was it.’

He also praised the rescuers for their efforts. ‘I’m honestly absolutely stunned someone is still alive from this. It is like falling from the top of an absolute cliff.’

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.  

Police were seen interviewing witnesses to the attack ‘who looked shook up,’ he added, saying that the bridge was later reopened to the public.

The building of Neuschwanstein Castle was completed in 1886 after almost 20 years. It is located in the Swabia region of Bavaria, close to Alps and the Austrian border.

Its construction was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who wanted a holiday home to escape to from the Bavarian capital of Munich.

He paid for the castle out of his personal fortune and through extensive borrowing, but he never saw it completed. He died in 1886, shortly before it opened.

Since then, more than 61million people have visited it.



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