The Italian police have begun what will likely be a high profile investigation into the death of an American woman by the name of Ashley Olsen, whose dead body was found on Saturday in her Florence, Italy, apartment. The police have already ruled her death as a homicide.
The 35-year-old victim was found with multiple bruises and scratches along her neck that indicates she had been strangled to death in her one-bedroom apartment, though police will wait on an autopsy before officially giving cause of death. Police have already questioned the woman’s close friends as well as a 43-year-old Italian artist boyfriend. The media has reported that many persons are already linking the American’s death and investigation with the high profile investigation into the death of another foreigner murdered in Italy several years ago, Meridith Kercher, that eventually led to the arrest of her American roommate Amanda Knox.
In what has been interpreted as a show of seriousness regarding the intent to solve the murder of Ashley Olsen, the case is being handled by the Italian detective that initially ran the 2007 investigation that led to the imprisonment of Amanda Knox- Giacinto Profazio.
Olsen’s apartment was located in the arty Santo Spirito district of the Tuscan city. The 35-year-old was originally from Summer Haven, Florida, and moved to Florence about three years ago in order to be closer to her father. The local media states that Olsen’s father is also an artist and a professor who teaches at an American school in the city.
According to the LA Times, after speaking to an officer under condition of anonymity since the investigation is ongoing, it was also learned that time of death for Olsen has not yet been established.
“Olsen was strangled, and we are trying to establish her movements before her death.”
Police have also reported that there were no signs of forced entry into the apartment, but have vowed that the maximum attention will be given to solve the case. ABC News‘ coverage of the murder of Ashley Olsen pointed out that already there have been comparisons regarding the murder of Meridith Kercher, stating that the American media and the Italian media were constantly at odds during coverage of the case. The investigation was harshly criticized and in the end Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were both acquitted of the murder in 2015 after doubts about the forensic evidence surfaced during one of the numerous retrials. ABC also mentioned the blog of Georgette Jupe, who was a casual acquaintance of Olsen’s, “Girl in Florence” in which the woman wrote that she hopes the investigation into Olsen’s death is clearer than that of Mercer. With Amanda Knox’s acquittal that case remains unsolved.
Olsen’s body was discovered by her boyfriend, Italian-born artist, Federico Fiorentini, on Saturday after he asked the landlord for the apartment to let him in when he had failed to hear from her for over two days. Though the couple had fought prior to the lack of communication, Olsen’s boyfriend still felt the urge to check on her when she would not answer any of his calls or messages.
Ashley Olsen was well known in the Florence neighbourhood where she lived with her pet Beagle, Scout. While the friends continue to be questioned, the police have also turned their attention to Olsen’s electronic life. They are analyzing her computer and also looking for evidence on the security camera footage of the street directly outside her apartment.
The Italian authorities also have reason to believe that Olsen may have had a stalker as evidenced by a post on her Instagram page. A photo, taken by an unknown photographer on her Instagram that Olsen had hashtagged #stalkeralert and #creeperintheback was uploaded about three months ago that featured her walking in Florence.
[Photo Courtesy of Maurizio Degl’Innocenti/AP Images]