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New details emerge in Bavarian crossbow death mystery

There are still more questions than answers after three people were found dead in a Bavarian hotel from crossbow injuries, and two others were found dead in an apartment in Lower Saxony.

New details emerge in Bavarian crossbow death mystery
The hotel in Passau where the three bodies were found. Photo: DPA

Autopsy results released on Tuesday have shed some light on what happened in the room of a quiet hotel in Passau, near the Austrian border, on Sunday. 

On Saturday, hotel staff discovered the three dead German nationals in their room around noon alongside two crossbows.

A third crossbow was later found packed inside a bag, police said. The three were a 33-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man from Rhineland-Palatinate state and a 30-year-old woman from Lower Saxony. 

It has also emerged that two wills were found in the room. 

READ MORE: Two more bodies found after mystery crossbow deaths in Bavarian hotel

The initial autopsy results show that the three died through targeted shots, Spiegel reported on Tuesday. 

The 33-year-old woman and 53-year-old man, who were found dead on the bed, were each killed by a shot to the heart.

The 30-year-old woman, who was found lying on the floor near the bed, was killed by a shot to the neck.

Further shots had been fired at the couple on the bed, but investigators said those came after the fatal shot to the heart.

None of the three had shown signs that they were forcibly attacked or that they had tried to defend themselves.

In addition, two wills written by the pair found on the bed were found in the hotel room, said the spokesman for the public prosecutor's office in Passau. 

The exact circumstances of death remain unclear. Investigators are trying to establish whether the women and men were under the influence of medication, alcohol or other drugs.

There are no indications that other people might have been involved in the incident, said the spokesman. The investigation so far indicates that the 30-year-old first shot the two on the bed, and then herself.

'Strange group'

The two women and men had arrived Friday and had all checked in without luggage.

They only returned to their cars later, after the reception was closed, to get the bags containing the crossbows.

One of the women had booked the triple room for 85 euros a night, without breakfast, for three nights.

“It was a strange group,” a guest recalled, according to the newspaper Bild, saying that the bearded man wore a suit while the women were dressed in black.

They had all wished a “good evening”, taken glasses of soft drink and water, and then disappeared into the second-floor room as rain fell outside.

Two women found dead

On Monday, two days after the hotel discovery, investigators found two more bodies in the 30-year-old woman's apartment in Wittingen, Lower Saxony.

Forensic teams at the site of the apartment in Wittingen, Lower Saxony, where two women were found. Photo: DPA

According to the police, neither crossbows nor arrows were found on the bodies of the two women there. One of the two women is said to have been the partner of the 30-year-old woman who died in Passau.

Police are trying to piece together what happened, how long the women had been dead and how these deaths are linked to the hotel incident.

Crossbows available to over-18s

According to the German Shooting and Archery Association (DSB), 3000  people of about 1.35 million shooter association members in Germany use crossbows.

Anyone over the age of 18 can buy a crossbow according to German law.

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POLICE

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”

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