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Italian police have arrested a 27-year-old Senegalese man for the murder of 35-year-old American artist Ashley Olsen. Ashley had been found strangled in her apartment in Florence, Italy on January 9. You can read my first post about this case HERE.
Police announced at a press conference Thursday that they were charging Tidiane Cheik Diaw, an illegal immigrant from West Africa, with Ashley’s murder. Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo said there were “very serious indications of his guilt” and that Diaw had “substantially admitted” being responsible for her death.
From The Telegraph:
Investigators believe Miss Olsen met him in the early hours of the morning last Friday after leaving a nightclub, the Montecarla.
The pair walked back to her flat in Via Santa Monica and had consensual sex, possibly under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
But a furious argument developed after Miss Olsen told him he had to leave the apartment because her Italian boyfriend was about to arrive.
Diaw became enraged, accusing her of treating him “like a dog.”
He allegedly strangled the American and inflicted wounds to her head, either by hitting her with a blunt object or by shoving her to the ground.
She sustained two fractures to her skull and is believed to have died at around 8am on Friday morning, prosecutors said.
Diaw allegedly told police that he pushed her to the ground, where she hit her head hard, but said that he had not meant to kill her.
Prosecutor Creazzo said Ashley’s skull was fractured twice, before she was strangled with either a rope or computer cord. He said the fractures were so violent that they alone would have killed her. He also said he believes that in addition to alcohol, drugs may have been involved. They are still awaiting toxicology reports.
Police reportedly took Diaw in for questioning after identifying him from surveillance video showing him walking with Ashley to her apartment early Friday morning.
According to The Telegraph, while he was being interrogated, officers gave him a cigarette. They then tested the cigarette butt for DNA evidence and matched it to a condom and cigarette butt found in Ashley’s apartment. His DNA also matched DNA found underneath her fingernails.
Diaw had also reportedly taken Ashley’s cell phone and put his own SIM card in it.
So who exactly is Tidiane Cheik Diaw? Reports say that Diaw came to Italy several months ago and earned money by distributing nightclub flyers in Florence. He was allegedly known to police for being involved with drugs.
According to his Facebook Page, he is from Dakar, Senegal.
And now he faces the charge of murder aggravated by cruelty.
UPDATE: 1/14/16 1:48 PM
Diaw now has an attorney, Antonio Voce. Voce told the Associated Press that Diaw and Ashley had consensual sex and were both drunk and using cocaine. He said Diaw denies ever intending to kill Ashley, saying that when he left her apartment, she was still alive.
From ABC News:
Voce said Diaw told investigators that they had fought when she tried to push him out of the apartment fearing her boyfriend would be arriving. After being pushed against the door, Diaw responded by punching Olsen in the neck and then pushing her to the ground, where she hit her head, Voce said.
Diaw helped her to the bed and left.
I don’t know about you guys, but that sounds pretty unbelievable to me.