A German tourist who got lost while leaving the airport died after being beaten and robbed as her young sons looked on, police said Saturday.
Barbara Jensen Meller, 39, of Berlin had just arrived with her mother and 6- and 2-year-old sons when they got lost Friday driving out of Miami International Airport.
The slaying is the latest in a series of recent crimes against visitors to Florida, where the economy is closely tied to tourism.
Meller was on a side street when another car rammed her rental car from behind. When she got out to check the damage, two men from the other car beat her, threw her to the ground, took her purse and sped off, police said.
They may have run over her, police said.
“The witness is her 6-year-old boy,” said police Detective Diego Ochoa. “He said there was some type of argument.”
Meller’s mother was too upset after the attack to give an account, Ochoa said.
The attack was the second of the week on German tourists who got lost while leaving the airport.
Karl Wilhelm Schmidt, 50, of Krefeld and his 15-year-old son, Kristopher, were shot Monday by four teen-agers who smashed their rental car window, stole a bag and ran off. A single shot went through the father’s leg and lodged in his son’s leg. No arrests have been made in either attack.
Recent crimes against visitors that have been widely publicized have included the burning of a New York City tourist who left a friend’s house to buy a newspaper and several shootings at cars along the main highway into Florida from the north.