A college graduate who miraculously survived being thrown 165ft into a ravine at Germany’s ‘Cinderella’ castle has been discharged from hospital and is expected to return to the United States.
Kelsey Chang, 22, was discharged from Murnau am Staffelesse city hospital after suffering minor cuts and bruises from the massive fall.
Her friend Eva Liu, 21, died after being pushed down the same steep slope by another American tourist following an attempted sexual assault at Bavaria’s notorious Neuschwanstein Castle.
Chang, of Bloomington, Illinois, and Liu, of Naperville, Illinois, were allegedly attacked by the unnamed 30-something and pushed out of a narrow path on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old miraculously survived because a fallen tree prevented her from plunging further into the ravine.
Kelsey Chang, 22, who miraculously survived a 165ft fall down a ravine from Germany’s ‘Cinderella’ castle, has been discharged from hospital and is expected to return to the US
Liu suffered serious injuries and later died after being airlifted to hospital.
The two recent University of Illinois graduates took an “unforgettable trip” after finishing their studies.
Liu’s father is said to be in Munich to collect his daughter’s belongings from a budget hotel where she was staying before visiting the castle.
After an autopsy, his body will be released and repatriated to the United States.
Her grieving father is being helped by officials from the American consulate in the German city to make arrangements.
Staff at Hotel Siebel in central Munich said they stored the two women’s belongings after removing them from their downstairs room.
A member of the US Consulate is expected to collect the personal effects, but it is unclear when they will.
Footage of the American tourist arrested in connection with the attack has surfaced following the horrific incident.
The 30-year-old man, whose name has not been released by German authorities, could be seen being led away from the scene in handcuffs.
Eva Liu of Naperville, Illinois was killed when she was thrown into a ravine at famed Neuschwanstein Castle – said to have inspired Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ castle
Police say the women encountered a 30-year-old American tourist on a footpath on or near the Marienbrucke Bridge, which is hugely popular as it offers views of the 19th-century Neuschwanstein Castle – which seats around 1.4 million visitors per year.
Prosecutors said he would likely face trial in Bavaria and not be extradited to the United States
He faces charges of murder, attempted murder and attempted sexual assault.
Liu’s passing shocked the community around Neuschwanstein Castle, one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions and the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella Castle.
Willibold Graf, the honorary mayor of Kempten, said: “This case is very unusual. It’s not normal for such a crime here – with a woman thrown over the cliff from a gorge. In this city, we have never had such an incident. I have never experienced anything like it.
Police said the two women met their attacker near the Marienbrucke Bridge – a narrow footbridge which, at its highest point, traverses 300ft over a gorge.
It was claimed the 30-year-old persuaded the two university graduates to follow him down a secluded trail that led to a “good vantage point” where he “physically attacked” Chang.
The unnamed suspect faces charges of murder, attempted murder and attempted sexual assault. He will be tried in Bavaria and will not be extradited to the United States.
When her Liu tried to intervene, he claimed he had tried to choke her before pushing her down the ravine.
Police said an ‘attempted sexual offence’ was then committed against the 21-year-old, before she was also pushed.
The couple were airlifted, but Liu later died in hospital from injuries she sustained in the fall.
Police are still investigating the case and have not released details of the motive or the relationship the suspect had with the girls.
The University of Illinois has confirmed the barbaric attack on the couple, with Associate Chancellor Robin Kaler saying, “Our University of Illinois family mourns the senseless death of Ms. Liu and the attack on Ms. Chang.
“Both had just graduated in May and should have been able to celebrate such a significant achievement without fearing such a tragic outcome.”
Kaler revealed that Liu graduated with a BS in Computer Science in May 2023 and Chang graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering at the same time.
Tami Armstrong, public affairs officer for the Illinois Academy of Mathematics and Sciences, said Liu was “a dedicated, academically talented, and engaged student” who served as a member of the student planning committee for the ‘International Student Science Fair 2018 held on campus.
Tourists continued to flock to Marienbrucke Bridge on Friday despite the horrific death
Liu was also “an adept student researcher” who participated in IMSA’s student survey and research program.
“On behalf of our administration, faculty and staff, we are saddened by this loss and mourn for and with his family and loved ones,” Armstrong said.
“The loss of a student, especially in such a tragic way, hurts us all deeply.”
Before leaving for Europe, Liu posted on LinkedIn that she was about to start a job as a software engineer at Microsoft, where she had completed an internship.
She also interned at Optum, part of the United Health Group, in Schaumburg, as well as at M1 in Chicago and Caterpillar in Peoria.