Homeless man arrested in death of American student in Rome

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(Photo: FOX6/Milwaukee)

ROME — Italian police have arrested a 40-year old homeless man in relation to the death of an American university student.

The body of 19-year-old Beau Solomon was discovered Monday in the Tiber River after he had been missing for several days.

Solomon was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who arrived in Rome last Thursday for a summer study abroad at John Cabot University.

His roommate reported him missing Friday after he failed to show up for orientation, according to a statement from John Cabot. The roommate said he lost contact with Solomon about 1 a.m. at a bar and had not seen him since.

The university alerted police, starting a search.

An autopsy will probably be carried out Tuesday, police said.

Solomon’s death is being investigated as a murder. Authorities said they are looking into the possible presence of one or more witnesses at the crime scene.

They are also reviewing surveillance camera footage, as well as tracking the signal of Solomon’s phone and the use of his credit card after he went missing.

The victim’s brother told CNN affiliate WMTV the family found “thousands of dollars had been charged on his (credit) card.”

Family arrived in Italy, autopsy to follow

Solomon’s parents arrived in Rome on Monday evening, Italian authorities said.

U.S. Ambassador to Italy John R. Phillips offered his condolences, saying, “I was saddened to learn of the tragic death of Beau Solomon. My heart goes out to his family and friends. The U.S. Embassy stands ready to provide support to Italian authorities investigating his disappearance and death.”

Solomon was from Spring Green, Wisconsin. He just completed his first year of study as a personal finance major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Human Ecology, the university said. He previously studied at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College and University of Wisconsin-Richland.

“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 at Badger Boys State and his desire to travel and experience other cultures,” university Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a statement.

The dean of the school’s international division, Guido Podesta, said the university takes measures to ensure the safety of students in other countries and that the university believes those students “generally feel safe and well-supported.”

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