John Durkin was found dead inside a railroad tunnel in Rome on Saturday. The Bates College student had been studying abroad as part of a semester long program. On February 19th, he was last seen at the bar Sloppy Sam’s with some friends. He was not seen again until he showed up dead.
According to a statement released by Bates College, John Durkin was an economics major and Asian studies minor. Durkin, 21, also played linebacker for the school’s football team. The announcement of his death was made official through his family, “It is with much sadness that the Durkin family informs you of the loss of John Nolen Durkin and thanks everyone for their support during the past few days.”
John’s father, Tim, had already arrived in Rome and was able to identify his son’s body. It was CNN who first reported that he had been run over by a train. Though an official statement on the cause of his death has not been released, it seems that this is what happened. An Italian newspaper reported the body was found between the Station of St. Peter and Trastevere.
John Durkin was participating in a foreign exchange program through Trinity College in Connecticut. There were five other Bates College students participating in the same program. Bates football coach Mark Harriman passed along his thoughts to the Durkin family, “We will remember the fortitude and character that John displayed on a daily basis and attempt to emulate those standards. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family during this difficult time.”
Upon learning that John Durkin had been found dead, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and others sent along their condolences to the family.
Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of John Durkin. Thoughts & prayers are with his parents, friends and loved ones in this difficult time.
— Gov. Maggie Hassan (@GovernorHassan) February 22, 2014
Tragic news about Rye student John Durkin. Thoughts are with his family during this difficult time. http://t.co/keIIrkmuQs
— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) February 22, 2014
My heart goes out to the family & friends of John Durkin. They are all in our thoughts & prayers.
— Kelly Ayotte (@KellyAyotte) February 22, 2014
Many will miss the young man who was well loved by his teammates, teachers, and fellow students. Italian authorities are working with the family and both schools to understand in greater detail what happened. As of now there are no reports of foul play in the events that led to John Durkin being found dead.