Suspect Arrested in Rome after American Student’s Death

A homeless man was arrested as Italian authorities continue to investigate the incident.

Italian police have taken a man into custody after an American student studying abroad was found dead July 4.

Massimo Galioto, a 40-year-old homeless man, was arrested by Rome police, who say he is “seriously suspected of aggravated homicide” in the death of student Beau Solomon, reports the New York Times.

Solomon was studying in an exchange program at the English-speaking John Cabot University from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His body was found in the Tiber River downstream from Galioto’s makeshift riverside encampment.

A police official says the department is investigating the possibility that Solomon was robbed, and then went to Galioto’s encampment by the river, where the two men got into a fight. An Italian news agency reported that two people are claiming to have seen a man throw a person into the Tiber River the night Solomon disappeared.

Solomon was last seen on the morning of July 1 leaving a pub alone. Following his disappearance, thousands of dollars worth of purchases were made on his credit card.

The president of John Cabot, Franco Pavoncello, says the school uses Italian soldiers and private security forces to protect students around its campuses, but not around the city of Rome where Solomon was last seen.

U.S. Ambassador to Italy John Phillips pledged to help Italian police investigate the death.

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