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Crime

Homeless Man Charged in Death of American Student in Rome

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Italian police have arrested a homeless man in connection with the death of an American college student studying abroad in Rome.

The suspect is identified as Massimo Galioto, a 40-year-old man from Rome. Police said he was taken into custody because he was “seriously suspected of aggravated homicide for futile motives,” according to CBS News.

On Friday, 20-year-old Beau Solomon’s roommate reported him missing when he failed to return from a night out. Solomon arrived in Rome on Thursday to take summer classes at John Cabot University, a small liberal arts college.

Solomon’s body was pulled from the Tiber River in the Italian capital on Monday, according to John Cabot University.

“John Cabot University is deeply saddened to announce that the body of Beau Solomon, the missing American visiting student, has been found in the Tiber River,” says a statement from the school. “We express our most heartfelt condolences to the Solomon family and to all those who loved Beau.”

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before Solomon’s body was found, his 26-year-old brother, Jake, described him as “an awesome brother” with “a big heart” who dreamed of becoming a lawyer. He also called him the “toughest S.O.B. that we’ve ever met.”

Solomon battled cancer for 10 years until the age of 12. He overcame the disease and went on to become a star high school athlete.

“Even when we were down he would try to get teammates to rally around him,” Solomon’s high school football coach Tim Eastlick told WKOW-TV at a vigil held at his high school. “I think that’s one of those everlasting memories I will have of him and his playing time.”

“He was a great student,” Solomon’s best friend Rowan McDonnelll told the outlet. “The kind of kid you would want your son to be, would want your brother or friend to be.”

CNN reports the Solomn’s death is being investigated as a murder. Authorities said they are seeking witnesses to the crime and reviewing surveillance footage to learn what happened.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported that two people recalled seeing a man throw a person into the Tiber River the night Beau Solomon went missing, according to the Associated Press, though ANSA cited no names or sources.

Solomon’s parents flew to Rome in the hopes of helping with the investigation.

His credit card was used to make $1,500 worth of purchases 350 miles away in Milan, according to authorities.

Solomon, a high school football star, had just finished his first year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a personal finance major, according to the school. He had previously attended two other colleges.