Backpackers Escape Living Nightmare on Remote Beach

Naked woman running for help had 'blood all over'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2016 7:31 AM CST
Updated Feb 14, 2016 10:29 AM CST
Backpackers Escape Horrific Kidnap-Assault on Remote Beach
Salt Creek in Coorong National Park.   (Wikimedia/Hullwarren)

Two female backpackers have escaped a living nightmare near Adelaide, Australia. Police say a German and Brazilian, both in their 20s, met a man in a rural area of South Australia who drove them to a remote beach campsite in Coorong National Park on Tuesday, per 7 News and the Guardian. There, police say the man sexually assaulted the women, then tried to kill them. One was hit in the head with a hammer while the other was reportedly run over by a car. Incredibly, both managed to escape and run in different directions, reports the BBC. One was recaptured, but the other found a group of fishermen. "She ran straight to the car yelling. She opened the back door, jumped straight in and [was] like, 'get me out of here, get me out of here. He's going to kill us all,'" one man says. "She had no clothes on so we just straight away gave her our jacket." Another witness says she had "blood all over her."

A dozen or so locals eventually set out in search of the second woman and found her barely conscious in sand dunes. A 59-year-old South Australian man—7 News reports he is of German heritage—was arrested later Tuesday in Coorong National Park and faces charges of kidnapping, unlawful sexual intercourse, and attempted murder. The man cannot be named for legal reasons, but neighbors say police have raided his home several times over the last year, taking items including computers. A photo on Facebook shows him holding a gun, while a fishing knife and hook were found at the campsite. "He's never put hands on family. At least not on me or the kids," his ex-wife says. He's due in court in April. Both victims were admitted to a hospital, where the German backpacker remained in stable condition on Thursday. (A Swedish doctor allegedly held a woman in a bunker.)

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