Italians probe disappearance of Wisconsin student in Rome


ROME (AP) — Italian authorities were investigating the disappearance of a Wisconsin student who went missing in Rome a day after he arrived for an exchange program, but say it’s too early to know whether a male body found Monday in the Tiber River is that of the teenager.

Beau Solomon, 19, from Spring Green, Wisconsin, had just completed his first year as a personal finance major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A statement from John Cabot University says it was “alerted by his roommate, who reported that he had lost contact with Beau around 1 a.m. on Thursday night while together at a pub in Rome and was worried when he did not see Beau at orientation” Friday morning. Solomon’s family says his credit cards have been used since he disappeared.

Solomon’s family has arrived in Italy and John Cabot University is in contact with Italian authorities, the U.S. Embassy and his U.S. college, its President Franco Pavoncello told The Associated Press.

Around midday Monday, police reported the discovery of the body of a young male in the Tiber River in Rome but stressed no identification of the corpse had been made. Police officers, including ones from the forensics squad, were at the river bank, with media being kept away.

An older brother, Jake Solomon, described his brother as an athlete who successfully battled cancer for years as a child. He says his parents, Nick and Jodi Solomon, won’t return from Rome until Beau is found.

U.S. students arriving in Italy for a semester or year of study are often surprised to learn that wine and other alcohol can be easily purchased in Italian supermarkets, and sometimes that can lead to problems.

In 2012, a U.S. student was allegedly stabbed by his roommate, a fellow student at John Cabot University, after what police said was a night of alcohol and possible drug use. The stabbed student survived.

Also in recent years, a young American man recently arrived in Rome for studies died after falling off a low wall where people sit at nighttime and landing on the cement banks of the Tiber River. Another young American male student, who had been reported missing after leaving a bar, was found dead near train tracks in a Rome tunnel, apparently hit by a train in the early morning hours.

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