Ashley Olsen was a free-spirited artist who loved to laugh, paint and travel.
Originally from Florida, the 35-year-old had moved to Florence, Italy, a few years ago. Her father, an architect, lived nearby. She had a boyfriend and a tight circle of friends. She worked in the fashion industry.
But Olsen’s life ended in tragedy last week when her body was discovered in her home. According to autopsy results released on Tuesday, she was strangled by either a rope or a cord-like object, NBC News reports.
Authorities have no suspects – nor have they ruled anyone out – but a spokesperson tells reporters that they are looking at Olsen’s social media for clues. In an Instagram photo from 13 weeks ago, she implies that she has a “stalker,” although police are unsure whether she was being serious.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
According to Italian news reports, Olsen’s boyfriend, a fellow artist, found her body on Saturday. He was concerned that he had not heard from her, so he asked her landlord to let him into the apartment.
The sudden death has shocked those close to Olsen. “We are bereft and numbed by what has happened,” her friend Jade wrote for the Italian newspaper The Florentine. “Ashley was a rare and kindhearted spirit. [Her] beloved dog, Scout, and her quirky style marked her out. From her long coats to her trademark hats, you never knew what outfit she’d put together next.”
“While we mourn her passing, we place our trust fully in the Italian authorities to investigate this tragic episode,” Jade continues. “We wait to hear what they discover, and pray that justice will be swiftly served to whoever is responsible. Most of all, we send our combined strength and our love to her family. This loss cannot be measured, nor can the impact of Ashley’s too brief life. We will miss her forever.”