Florence funeral begins for slain American, Ashley Olsen

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Family and friends of Ashley Olsen, the American woman slain in her Florence apartment, allegedly by a Senegalese illegal immigrant, arrive for her funeral. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Florence funeral begins for slain American, Ashley Olsen


Funeral services were held on Friday (January 15) for Ashley Olsen, the American woman who was slain in her Florence apartment last weekend by what police say was a Senegalese illegal immigrant.

A large gaggle of reporters and camera crews waited outside a Florence church as family and other loved ones arrived to pay their respects to the 35-year-old, who police say was strangled but also had two skull fractures according to the autopsy — injuries that would also have proved fatal.

Italian police say they have arrested Diaw Cheik Tidianee for her murder. They say Tidianee met Olsen in a local nightclub and that the two had consensual sex in her home under the influence of alcohol, and possibly drugs, before he killed her.

During a long interrogation that ended at 4.00 a.m. local time, Tidianee had “substantially admitted” the prosecutors’ reconstruction of events, said Florence chief prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo.

Tidianee and his lawyers have not made any public comment but Italian media said he told police he had not meant to kill Olsen, but that she had fallen during a row.

Creazzo did not give Tidianee’s age but said he was born in 1988 and had arrived in Italy illegally a few months ago to join his brother who has been living in the country for some time.

Witnesses and video surveillance cameras confirmed that Tidianee and Olsen had left the Montecarla nightclub and entered her house together, Creazzo said, adding that Tidianee had taken Olsen’s phone and put his own SIM card inside it.

The “decisive evidence” had come from Tidianee’s DNA which was present on a condom and a cigarette butt found in the house and which matched DNA found under Olsen’s finger nails.

Tidianee is currently in a Florence prison and faces a charge of murder, aggravated by cruelty. “There was no sign of any erotic game,” Creazzo said.

Olsen came from Florida and had been living in the central Italian art city of Florence for the past three years. Friends said she had moved to Italy to join her father Walter Olsen, who teaches in the city.

The case may fuel tensions over illegal immigration which have already led to a sharp rise in support for the anti-immigrant Northern League party.

Tags : Olsen, Ashley, american, Slain, begins, Funeral, Florence

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