Beau Solomon has been found dead in the Tiber River in Rome, and investigators believe the 19-year-old American college student who disappeared just hours after arriving in the Italian capital city may have been murdered.
Solomon, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, had arrived this week in Rome to study at John Cabot University. But within hours, he was reported missing by his roommate, NBC News reported.
In a statement issued Monday, John Cabot University noted that Solomon was last seen at close to 1 a.m. on Friday. Solomon was not at orientation the next morning, prompting the roommate to alert authorities and the university to help start an investigation.
John Cabot University noted that Solomon’s disappearance kicked off a joint investigation that included Italian police working with the American embassy.
“The University alerted the Italian law enforcement authorities, providing them with all the information in its possession. John Cabot University also informed the American Embassy and the student’s home school, which notified the family.”
“John Cabot is fully engaged and remains in constant communication with the Italian authorities, the U.S. Embassy in Rome, and the home school, as the investigation unfolds. During this difficult time, John Cabot University is committed to assisting in the progress of the investigation, and in supporting the student’s family.”
Police later found Solomon’s body in the Tiber River, though it took several hours to positively identify the body. Police said the death of Beau Solomon is being treated as suspicious, and there may have been signs that he was the victim of a robbery. Solomon’s parents said they called their son’s credit card company and learned that thousands of dollars had been charged in Milan.
In the hours before police found and identified Solomon’s body, family members had pleaded for anyone with information to come forward, noting that Beau was not the type to get into trouble.
“In our family, he is the one who does it all right. He’s an incredible athlete. He is the one that keeps us all together,” his brother, Jake Solomon, told NBC News before Beau’s body was found. “He was driven, career oriented.”
To make the situation even more tragic, Beau Solomon had survived a rare form of cancer as a child. In 2005, he participated in a Make-A-Wish event that fulfilled his boyhood dream of meeting Brett Favre, who at the time was the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.
“Meeting all the players was thrilling, fun, exciting and all of the good things you can think of,” Solomon told Packers at the time.
“It was fun meeting Brett and seeing that he’s just a regular guy like anybody else. My favorite part was when he was making faces at my baby brother, Max, to make him laugh while we were taking pictures.”
As WISN noted, Beau Solomon is one of a number of American college students to die in Rome in recent years. In 2012, an American college student was stabbed by his roommate after a night of drinking and drug use, though the student survived.
Another American was killed after falling off a wall on the cement bank of the Tiber River, and an American student who went missing after a night of drinking was later found dead near a set of train tracks, having apparently been hit by a train.
Police in Rome have not yet released details into the murder investigation or specified exactly how Beau Solomon died.
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