Italian police charge homeless local with murder of US exchange student

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Map showing locations pertaining to the robbery of Beau Solomon.
Image: OpenStreetMap.
Map showing scene and bar locations pertaining to the robbery of Beau Solomon.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

On Tuesday, Italian police charged homeless forty-year-old Massimo Galioto with the aggravated murder of Beau Solomon, a college student from Wisconsin, US. The police arrested the man after finding the student's body in the Tiber River in Rome on Monday. The defendant has attorney Michele Vincelli.

According to reports, Massimo Galioto is homeless and lived in a tent under a bridge. Italian police said two witnesses reported they saw someone being thrown from the Garibaldi bridge into the Tiber River. The authorities also reportedly obtained CCTV footage near the bank of the river, showing the incident.

A homeless woman sharing a tent with Massimo Galioto said she saw Massimo Galioto and Beau Solomon fighting each-other, and then saw Beau Solomon fall into the river. The woman alleged Beau Solomon was drunk and the company included two people from North Africa.

On Monday, Italian police found Beau Solomon's body near Guglielmo Marconi bridge about three miles (five kilometres) downstream from Trastevere, where the student was last seen at about 1AM in G-Bar in Piazza Trilussa on Friday night after his first day in Italy. Solomon was beginning a summer school at John Cabot University. His parents arrived on Monday using emergency passports.

The body had no mobile device or wallet, suggesting to local authorities it was a robbery. The body also had a head wound and bloody shirt, the victim's 23-year-old brother Cole Solomon told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday.

Last week on Friday morning, Beau Solomon's parents received bank alerts. According to the student's brother Jake Solomon, the bank told his parents Beau's bank card was charged "thousands of dollars". Authorities later confirmed the amount as about 1,500 euro (about US$1700). The credit card of the victim was charged in Milan over 300 miles away from Rome on Friday.

Beau Solomon was aged 19. He came to Italy to attend summer school on Thursday. Beau Solomon did not attend university student orientation next morning, and the institution reported him missing to the local authorities at 9PM.