Italian police charge homeless local with murder of a US exchange student

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Monday, July 4, 2016

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Map showing locations pertaining to the robbery of Beau Solomon.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

Map showing scene and bar locations pertaining to the robbery of Beau Solomon.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

On Tuesday, Italian police charged Massimo Galioto, a 40-year-old homeless man, with the aggravated murder of Beau Solomon, a college student from Wisconsin, USA. The police had put these charges after arresting the man on Monday night, following the finding of the injured student body in Tiber River on Monday.

In a statement, the Italian police said Massimo Galioto was homeless, lived in a tent under Garibaldi bridge, and was born in Rome. They also said two witnesses reported they saw someone being thrown from the bridge into the Tiber River. The authorities had also obtained CCTV footage near the bank of the river, showing the attack.

In an interview with Rai Italia television on Tuesday, a homeless woman sharing a tent with Massimo Galioto reported that she saw Massimo Galioto and Beau Solomon arguing and pushing each-other, and then saw Beau Solomon being pushed into the river. The woman had alleged that Beau Solomon was drunk.

On Monday, Italian police found Beau Solomon’s body near Guglielmo Marconi bridge about three miles (4.8 kilometres) downstream from Trastevere, where the student was last seen at about 1AM in a G-Bar in Piazza Trilussa on Friday night after his first day in Italy. John Cabot University, which Beau Solomon was beginning to attend as a summer school, confirmed the identity. It was also confirmed by the student’s parents who had arrived on Sunday using urgent passports.

The body had no mobile device or a wallet, leading the local authorities to believe it was a robbery. It also had a head wound and blood on the shirt, as Cole Solomon, a 23-year-old victim’s brother, told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — a California news outlet — on Monday.

Last week on Friday morning, Beau Solomon’s parents received bank alerts. According to the student’s brother Jake Solomon, the bank told parents that Beau’s bank card was charged “thousands of dollars”. Authorities later confirmed the amount as about 1,500 euro. The credit card of the victim was charged in Milan over 300 miles away from Rome on Friday.

Beau Solomon was aged 19. He came to Italy to attend summer school on Thursday. Beau Solomon did not attend university student orientation next morning, and the institution reported him missing to the local authorities at 9PM.

The local authorities were continuing to investigate the incident as a suspected robbery with murder.


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