JERUSALEM (AP) — The body of a female tourist, bound and with multiple stab wounds, was found Sunday near a
road outside Jerusalem, police said.
Her friend, an immigrant from the U.K., had reported her missing a day earlier after she, too was found in the same area, also bound and stabbed, police said.
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The two had been hiking in a nearby forest when they were assaulted by two Arab men and her friend was dragged away, she told police on Saturday.
The woman's disappearance set off a large-scale hunt by police and military in the wooded hills outside Jerusalem.
Before the body was found, police had been investigating possibilities other than a politically motivated crime. The discovery of the stabbed and bound body, however, reinforced the possibility that militants may have been involved, police said.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he had no details about the hikers, but the Israeli press identified the dead woman as Christine Logan. Her nationality has been given alternatively as British and American. The British Embassy said it was looking into the reports; the U.S. Embassy had no information.
Her friend, according to the press, was Kaye Susan Wilson. Police said there were no signs she had been sexually assaulted or robbed.
Dr. Yuval Weiss, director of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, told Army Radio he expected Wilson would be released within several days.
Police said Wilson told them she managed to escape her assailants by pretending she was dead. Afterward, she made it to a parking area where other people alerted authorities.
This would not be the first time that hikers were attacked and killed.
In 2007, two off-duty soldiers were shot and killed while hiking in the West Bank. In the 1990s, four Israeli hikers were killed in two separate attacks in the West Bank.
Israeli security forces early Sunday found the body of Christine Logan, an American tourist woman feared kidnapped by Arab assailants while hiking with a friend near Jerusalem the day before.
Logan's friend, 46-year-old Kaye Susan Wilson, was hospitalized after she managed to escape her attackers despite multiple stab wounds and her hands tied behind her back.
Wilson, an immigrant from the United Kingdom who now resides in a Jerusalem-area community, told paramedics and police officers that she and Logan were assaulted by two Arab men while hiking at Khirbet Hanut, an archaeological site near Beit Shemesh.
Wislon said that she pretended to be dead to escape further attack and then managed to flee the scene and reach the road; Logan did not. After speaking briefly to investigators, Wilson was taken to the Hadassah University Hospital, where her condition was reported to be stable.
Police identified Logan's body early Sunday and are continuing to focus their investigation on the circumstances of the incident and searching after the perpetrators. Jerusalem District Police Chief Aharon Franco said on Saturday that the investigation would not rule out the possibility of the incident having been a terrorist attack.