Two German backpackers were allegedly kidnapped and raped by an Australian man at an isolated campsite.
One backpacker raised the alarm when she appeared naked and bleeding from the sand dunes while screaming to flag down a car. The incident happened on Tuesday on a beach in the Coorong National Park, south Australia.
The woman was travelling with another young German woman and both are in hospital in a stable condition after they were rescued at Coorong National Park in Salt Creek, south-east of Adelaide, at around 6:30pm on Tuesday.
A 59-year-old Adelaide man, whose identity cannot be revealed due to the charges laid against him, was detained when one of the women broke away from her alleged captor and managed to find help.
‘She didn’t know what was going on… She’s jumped in the car and is telling us “please get out of here”,’ Ali Mohammed told Seven News.The men who saved the alleged victims, Ali Mohammed and Abdul-Karim Mohammed, were driving near sand dunes at Coorong National Park when one of the backpackers ran towards them.
The woman screamed ‘Get me out of here, get me out of here. He’s going to kill us all,’ the other man reportedly added.
The accused, aged in his 50s, has profiles on dating websites looking for a woman between ’22 and 56′ and describes himself as ‘respectful to women’ and able to ‘get along with anyone, well almost’, according to The Advertiser.
He allegedly professes that he wants to meet ‘a kind, loving and thoughtful woman ready for marriage and to start a new life with’, listing that he is searching for a woman between 22 and 56.
On Wednesday night he appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court court via video link in a white gown and chained to the wall of his jail cell, just hours after the alleged incident.
He was remanded in custody, charged with kidnapping, rape, causing aggravated harm to another and attempted murder.
He didn’t speak during his court appearance but on the dating website he says his ideal woman ‘can cook Chinese food, loves kids, be well presented, slender, respectful and honest’, The Advertiser reports.
He writes that he hopes the new woman in his life will share his love of the outdoors, camping, walks on the beach and fishing and has eerily shared photos on his social media accounts of himself at the beach.
He also declares himself to be down to earth, kind, thoughtful and not racist.
‘We were just shocked when we seen here and then we go “there’s something bad going on here”… we were there perfect timing, if not it would’ve been worse,’ Abdul-Karim Mohammed said.
Salt Creek locals said the man had been visiting the area for ‘decades’.
According to Seven News, the two women split up to escape the man, with one getting away to alert the witnesses.
However, the second backpacker was recaptured. When she was found later in the evening, she was barely conscious.
Two young campers, believed to be backpackers in their twenties, were airlifted to Flinders Medical Centre where one is being treated for a significant head injury.
Seven News pictured also showed a man being arrested on the beach by police.
The man was seen on his stomach on the ground, with his arms behind his back as two officers detain him. He was wearing a black and white t-shirt and grey pants.
Police also found a campsite about a kilometre from where the man was arrested. There was a fishing knife and hook left behind.
A number of hostel managers in Adelaide said backpackers frequently travel to Salt Creek to work at the roadhouse, with one telling Daily Mail Australia ‘two or three’ are hired every few months.
Superintendent James Blandford said the women, whose nationalities have been withheld, met the man on Tuesday and spent the day travelling with him before deciding to camp at Coorong for the night.
‘Effectively these two ladies have been driving with a newly acquainted person and effectively found themselves in a situation which has turned out to be rather scary and physically bad for them,’ Mr Blandford said.
‘One of the victims was able to run away and came across some people who were fishing in the area and they were able to comfort and secure her and make phone calls to police,’ he said.
According to the Advertiser, their alleged attacker was found nearby and arrested, while it is not known where the second victim was located.
‘The details I can’t go into because it’s still a very fresh investigation and there are still a number of inquiries and witnesses that we need to tie down a story.’
He warned others to remain vigilant when meeting new people and encouraged everyone to employ ‘protective strategies… particularly around people you’ve only just met.’
‘Unfortunately there are a small minority of people who do prey on innocent people going about their business,’ he said during a press conference.
Adam Stewart, the owner of nearby Salt Creek Roadhouse, said he contacted police after receiving a ‘panicked’ phone call from a group of fishermen who were on the beach.
‘They had just come across an injured woman who had come running out of the sand dunes – a young girl, a backpacker,’ he told Seven News.
A worker at the roadhouse told Daily Mail Australia the girls ‘came in’ earlier in the day, but said locals had been told not to discuss the incident.
The crime scene, including a blood spattered vehicle, is now being investigated by Major Crime detectives and Murray Bridge police.
A police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that a 59-year-old man from Morphett Vale, around 60 kilometres north of Coorong, was arrested at the scene.
The 59-year-old remained in custody after an appearance in Adelaide Magistrates court on Wednesday.
According to Seven News reporters, the man was bound by chains and wore a white hospital gown.
Coorong National Park
Video showing a hike along a salt marsh and through a dune field near the mouth of the Murray River and the Coorong National Park in South Australia.