US woman was brutally beaten and strangled in Florence

An American woman found dead in her Florence apartment had been brutally beaten and strangled, Italian prosecutors said.

They suspect a Senegalese man she met at a disco who was detained after authorities received “decisive” DNA evidence from a condom and cigarette butt and he was found using her mobile phone.

Cheik Tidiane Diaw, a 27-year-old who had arrived in Italy from Senegal in recent months, was arrested early yesterday at his brother’s apartment and is being held on suspicion of aggravated homicide, Florence chief prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo told a news conference.

Street-mounted security cameras and witnesses reported that Diaw and Ashley Olsen, 35, had left Florence’s Montecarla nightclub in the early hours of January 8 and went to her home.

Once there, they had consensual sex.

However, sometime afterwards, Olsen’s skull was fractured in two places with blows so violent they alone could have killed her, Creazzo said.

She was subsequently strangled.

Olsen’s naked body was discovered the following day by her Italian boyfriend, who asked the apartment’s owner to let him because he had not heard from her in a few days, authorities said.


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