Two More Victims Found in German Crossbow Murder Mystery
Authorities searching the home of one of the victims in a weekend crossbow murder mystery find two more bodies.
German police searching the apartment of a 30-year-old woman who, along with two others, was fatally shot with a crossbow in an upstairs room of a German B&B have found two more victims who reportedly died the same way.
The bodies of two women—both reportedly also shot with crossbows, according to news reports there—were found in a bedroom of the apartment on Monday, two days after the three bodies were discovered at the guesthouse in Passau. Police there say they likely died several days earlier.
None of the five victims have yet been identified by name.
Detectives went to the woman’s home in Lower Saxony after it was discovered that she had booked the triple room in the B&B under her name.
Local news outlet Merkur reports that one of the new victims may be the 30-year-old woman’s sister. Neighbors said the 30-year-old was quiet and dressed in a “gothic style.” One neighbor said, “She never greeted anyone.”
The grim discovery was made on Monday in Wittengen, Lower Saxony, hours away from the macabre discovery at the B&B in Passau, where the 30-year-old woman, a 33-year-old woman and a 54-year-old man—all German citizens—were found by a chambermaid in a triple room. They had all been impaled with crossbow arrows, known as bolts. The older man was described as a skilled archer who often carried crossbows in his white pickup truck, according to the German news service DPA.
The man and the older of the two women, who were both from Rhineland-Palatinate but apparently did not live together, were found hand-in-hand on the double bed with several arrows protruding from their chests and heads, investigating prosecutor Walter Feiler told the German news agency DPA. One arrow nearly went all the way through the man’s head, according to several German press outlets.
The younger of the women was impaled on a single arrow and was slumped in a pool of blood on the floor. Police are not revealing a suspected motive or a precise method for the triple homicide—or even if it is being considered a murder-suicide—but they have so far excluded the possibility of a killer on the loose. “We still assume that no other people were involved in the deaths of the three,” Gaisbaue said, though he admitted that the discovery of additional bodies in one of the victim’s homes had “complicated the investigation.”
Two crossbows thought to be used in the killings were found on the floor of the B&B, Bavarian police spokesman Stefan Gaisbaue confirmed to The Daily Beast. A third crossbow was found inside a duffle bag on the floor. Arrows were scattered around the room. Police have not said whether any crossbows were found at the newer crime scene.
The threesome had checked into the B&B during a torrential rainstorm at 10 p.m. on Friday, according to the manager of the guesthouse. They did not carry luggage when they checked in, but security camera footage shows that one of the women went out to the vehicle to retrieve large bags, presumably with the crossbows inside, after the reception desk closed for the night.
A hotel guest told local newspaper Merkur, that the group was “strange” and that the man had a long white beard and wore a formal suit. The women were reportedly wearing all black. They had asked for food but since the kitchen had already closed, they took snacks and soft drinks to their room. They had booked breakfast for the next morning, but failed to show up.
The two crime scenes are nearly 430 miles apart. The Northern Saxony apartment is close to the town of Hanover and the Passau B&B is near the Austrian border, which divides the investigation between two jurisdictions. Initial autopsy reports on the Passau victims will be available Tuesday, which should help determine a cause and time of death.
Crossbows can be legally purchased by anyone over 18 for hunting in Germany. It is not yet clear whether the crossbows found at the crime scene were those used by hunters or recreational archers. Murder by crossbow is extremely rare, though accidental injury by shooting is fairly common across Europe. Authorities say they will announce more details about the two new victims and a potential motive in the days ahead.