Rome police have made an arrest in connection with the alleged murder of Beau Solomon, an American teenager who was declared missing just hours after arriving in Italy for a summer school program, NBC News is reporting.
Massimo Galioto, a 40-year-old homeless man, has been charged with “aggravated murder” in connection with the young man’s death, a police spokesman confirmed.
Police arrested a homeless man in the death of American student Beau Solomon, officials say https://t.co/BPCbF3he29 pic.twitter.com/f28xuCrH63
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) July 5, 2016
Solomon had been sightseeing with fellow students Thursday night in a Roman neighborhood popular with American tourists and students. He was last seen at 1 a.m. and was presumed to have gone home. His fellow students got worried when they returned to their residence and found out that Solomon was not there. They returned to the bar where he was last seen to look for him, and an alarm was raised Friday when he did not turn up for registration the following morning.
Investigators began looking into some suspicious transactions on Solomon’s credit card. Beau’s parents, Jodi and Nick Solomon, said they received bank alerts informing them of an unusual transaction. Italian state TV said the amount was around $1,700 and was allegedly transacted at a clothing store in Milan, 350 miles from where he was last seen. Investigators say they will look at surveillance footage close to the store to see if they can spot anyone who used the cards.
The Solomons said they had last spoken with their son shortly before he went out for the evening.
“Everything’s so pretty, it’s so beautiful,” he had told his parents.
The Solomons arrived Rome Monday evening after traveling from their Spring Green residence in Wisconsin on emergency passports.
The distraught parents described their son as a goal-oriented teen who wanted to graduate from university in three years. Solomon had just concluded his first year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in personal finance. He had also taken language classes in preparation for his six-week-stint at the summer school in Italy. Nick Solomon said he had advised his son to watch his belongings closely.
“The only doubts we had were pickpocketing,” he said.
Beau’s brother Cole Solomon, 23, speaking to reporters, said his brother’s body was recovered with a head wound and blood on his shirt. He also confirmed that over a $1,000 was charged to his credit card after he disappeared.
Beau Solomon, the third out of four boys, was described by his elder brother Jake as vibrant and an active member of the community with ambitions of becoming a politician. He added that his brother was a great athlete who successfully won the race against cancer as a child.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) July 4, 2016
Rebecca Blank, the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in a statement Monday said “all of us at UW-Madison are greatly saddened by this loss. Beau was a bright and caring young man who lived the Wisconsin Idea through his work and expressed a desire to travel and experience other cultures.”
Preliminary autopsy results reveal that Solomon suffered injuries originating from a fall; the exact cause of death is still to be determined.
This is not the first time that an American has turned up dead after being declared missing after a night out in Italy.
In 2014, John Durkin was found dead in a train tunnel in Rome, according to a news report on his university’s website. The 21-year-old had been missing for two days and had been out with friends at a nightlife hot spot in the city. Reports say he was hit by a train after leaving a bar. He was studying Economics at the Bates College in Maine and had been in Italy for a month for a study abroad program initiated by the Trinity College in Connecticut.
This is a developing story. More information about the murder of Beau Solomon will be published as it becomes available.
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