German crossbow deaths police find more bodies

The hotel where the incident happened, on the banks of the river Ilz, 11 May 19
The traditional German hotel is in a popular hiking location in Bavaria

German police probing the deaths of three people shot with crossbow arrows in a Bavarian hotel have found two more female bodies in a flat 400 miles away.

The flat in Wittingen had been occupied by a 30-year-old woman who was one of the victims found in the hotel room.

The other two in the hotel room were a man and woman found in bed, hand-in-hand, impaled with several arrows. It is a rural hotel on the edge of Passau.

There was no sign of a fight, nor of another participant, police said.

All five victims were resident in Germany.

Wittingen, police at scene, 13 May 19Image copyrightAFP
Image captionTwo bodies were found in a flat in the north German town of Wittingen

Two crossbows were found lying in the hotel room and a third in a bag belonging to the group.

The couple found in bed were a man aged 53 and a woman aged 33, both from the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The German daily Merkur reports that they had several arrows in their bodies: two had penetrated the man’s head.

The 30-year-old woman – found in a pool of blood on the floor with an arrow through her chest – is reportedly the sister of one of the Wittingen women. Merkur identified her only as “C” and said she had registered as an occupant of the flat in March.

Mystery group

The Wittingen discovery came on Monday, as police investigated the hotel room deaths.

The relationship between the three victims in the hotel remains unclear. They had booked a room with a double bed and single bed for three nights, checking in on Friday, without ordering breakfast.

The hotel is by the Ilz river near Passau, about 650km (400 miles) south of Wittingen.

Crossbows can fire either bolts or short arrows. Hunting with bows or crossbows is banned in Germany.

The hotel where the incident happened, on the banks of the river Ilz, 11 May 19Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThree crossbows were found in the hotel room with the three bodies

The first results of an autopsy are expected on Tuesday.

Another hotel guest, who was staying in the hotel for a short break, told local newspaper Passauer Neue Presse that it had been a “completely quiet night”.

Police have seized a white truck, parked outside, which has stickers reportedly linked to a hunting club. It was registered in Westerwald, Rhineland-Palatinate.

German media say one sticker has the letters FMJ – believed to be a reference to Full Metal Jacket crossbow arrows made by a US firm, Easton Hunting.

A hotel guest said the man had a long white beard and the women were dressed in black, and described them as “strange”.

On arrival on Friday evening they simply wished other guests a “good evening”, then went upstairs to their second-floor room with bottles of water and Coca-Cola, said the guest, quoted by Merkur.

In Wittingen a neighbour quoted by Merkur described the 30-year-old woman as “always a bit odd – always dressed in black, sort of gothic”.

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