Tidiane Cheik Diaw is accused of aggravated murder, after DNA evidence allegedly tied him to the crime

By Tim Nudd
January 14, 2016 08:55 AM
Source: Ashley Olsen/Instagram

A Senegalese man has been charged with aggravated murder in the death of Ashley Olsen, an American artist found with a fractured skull and evidence of strangulation in her apartment in Florence, Italy, last weekend, according to reports.

Tidiane Cheik Diaw was arrested overnight after he was linked to DNA taken from a cigarette butt and a condom found in the home, Florence chief prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo said at a press conference Thursday, Reuters reports.

Creazzo said Diaw, 27, was also found with Olsen’s phone, into which he had inserted his own SIM card.

Diaw, who allegedly entered Italy illegally a few months ago to reunite with his brother, was seen with Olsen on video surveillance cameras on the night of her killing, Reuters added.

Creazzo said Olsen and Diaw met at a local bar last Thursday night or early Friday morning and later went to her apartment, where prosecutors believe they had consensual sex, reports NBC News.

“Then he probably slammed her head against something twice, fracturing her skull, and then strangled her,” Creazzo said.

Olsen’s boyfriend found her naked body lying in the apartment on Saturday.

Investigators discovered the condom and cigarette butt in the toilet in the apartment and matched the DNA with that taken from a cigarette Diaw smoked during his interrogation, the Associated Press reports.

Originally from Florida, Olsen, 35, moved to Florence a few years ago. Her architect father lived nearby. The murder has shocked the tight-knit artist community in Florence, a city with a legendary artistic heritage dating back centuries.