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Italian Police Arrest Suspect in Murder of Florida Woman

  • VOA News

Police officers and forensics experts carry the body of Ashley Olsen, a 35-year-old American expatriate artist who was found dead in her apartment, in Florence, Italy, Jan. 9, 2016.

Police officers and forensics experts carry the body of Ashley Olsen, a 35-year-old American expatriate artist who was found dead in her apartment, in Florence, Italy, Jan. 9, 2016.

Italian police in Florence arrested a Senegalese immigrant on suspicion of the murder of an American woman found dead in her apartment last week.

Speaking to reporters Thursday in Florence, Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo said that “decisive” DNA analysis of a condom and cigarette butt led Italian authorities to arrest Cheik Tidiane Diaw, 27, Wednesday in the death of Florida-born Ashley Olsen, 35.

Creazzo said that the autopsy revealed that Olsen was killed by strangulation, but also had two scull fractures that would have been sufficient to cause her death.

FILE - Ashley Olsen is seen in an undated photo.

FILE - Ashley Olsen is seen in an undated photo.

He said that based on witness testimonies and street cameras, Olsen and Diaw met for the first time at the Monte Carla night club early Friday morning and went together to Olsen's apartment in the Tuscan city's historic center. Diaw also took Olsen's cell phone and used it after replacing her SIM card with his, Creazzo said.

Creazzo also said that they had consensual sex and both had drunk alcohol and possibly taken drugs over the course of the night.

Diaw faces a charge of murder, aggravated by cruelty.

Olsen’s naked body was discovered Saturday by her boyfriend, Federico Fiorentini, an Italian artist. He was never considered a suspect in the case.

Olsen was a well-known figure in the American expatriate art community in Florence.

She had been living in the central Italian city for several years, where her father Walter Olsen is an art teacher at a local design institute.

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