A young tourist who was sexually assaulted then fatally thrown into a ravine near a world-famous âCinderellaâ-style castle in Germany was identified Friday as a 21-year-old recent University of Illinois graduate, authorities said Friday.
Eva Liu, of Naperville, Ill., was killed while visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau Wednesday afternoon, when a 30-year-old man pushed her off the 165-foot gorge in a stunning attack, police and school officials said.
Liu had traveled to the castle â a tourist hotspot believed to have inspired the palace in Disneyâs âCinderellaâ movie â with classmate Kelsey Chang, 22, who was also thrown off the cliff by the assailant but survived, the officials said.
âOur University of Illinois family is mourning the senseless death of Ms. Liu and the attack on Ms. Chang,â associate chancellor of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Robin Kaler told the UK Mirror.
“Both had just graduated in May and should have been able to celebrate such an important accomplishment without the fear of such a tragic outcome.â
The unidentified American suspect â who was reportedly staying at the same hotel as the college grads â was arrested Wednesday after allegedly luring the women to a trail that led to an overlook, then âphysically attacking” Liu, police said.
When Chang tried to help, he allegedly choked her and pushed her off the side of the steep cliff, where a tree broke her fall, according to authorities.
He allegedly then tried to sexually assault LiuÂ before fatally shoving her into the gorge, where she suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to a hospital.
She was pronounced dead the following day.
Chang only suffered minor injuries from the long fall, police told the Daily Mail Friday. Footage appears to show her hanging onto a fallen tree partway down steep slope.
The young women had been staying at the same hotel as the attacker, The Seibel in Munich, but didn’t know him, the outlet reported.
Chang was recovering in the hospital Friday, according to German media reports.
âThe two tourists happened to meet the man on a hiking tour east of the MarienbrÃ¼cke and joined him,â Chief Public Prosecutor Thomas HÃ¶rmann told the German newspaper, Bild.
The suspect was held on murder, attempted murder and sexual assault charges,Â authorities said.
Witness Eric Abneri said the suspect appeared to have bloody scratches across his face, and said nothing as police arrested him.
âIâm honestly absolutely stunned someone is still alive from this. It is like falling from the top of an absolute cliff,â he said.
A bridge near the castle, which draws a total of 1.4 million visitors each year, was temporarily closed due to the incident.
The castle was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who hid out there after losing in the Austro-Prussian war in 1866.
With Post wires
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