Just days after he was discovered to be missing, 19-year-old cancer survivor Beau Solomon washed up dead on Monday.
ROME—Beau Solomon, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Wisconsin in Madison came to Rome to fulfill a dream to study abroad. Instead he was found floating in Rome’s muddy Tiber River, likely killed a few hours after he arrived in the eternal city. His death is being investigated as a homicide after someone used his credit card to rack up more than $1,500 in charges in Milan.
Solomon arrived in Rome on Thursday, June 30, to attend a five-week course at Rome’s popular John Cabot University, the orientation of which was held July 1. When Solomon arrived, he and the others attending the course went to a popular bar in the lively Trastevere district of Rome near Piazza Trilussa, which is well known for its nightlife. He was last seen around 1 a.m. Friday morning, and when he didn’t show up for orientation at the university the next morning, authorities at the school alerted the police and the American embassy, which, in turn alerted his family.
On Monday, John Cabot University released a statement confirming Solomon’s death. “John Cabot University is deeply saddened to announce that the body of Beau Solomon, the missing American visiting student, has been found in the Tiber River,” the statement said. “We express our most heartfelt condolences to the Solomon family and to all those who loved Beau.”
The American embassy could not be reached on the 4th of July, and the friends who reached out to The Daily Beast when he was missing have asked for time to process the loss of their loved one before commenting.
In 2005, Solomon met his favorite football player Brett Favre through the Make A Wish Foundation, according to the Green Bay Packers website. He had survived a rare cancer as a child and had undergone extensive surgery and chemotherapy. He was part of the Make a Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to terminally ill children. His was to meet his favorite football star Brett Favre.
His friends and family at home used social networking and reached out to media, including The Daily Beast in Rome, to get the word out about the missing teen. In searching for the young man, police somehow failed to connect testimony from two Italians who reported seeing someone being “hurled off a bridge” about a mile upriver from where Solomon’s body was found. Police apparently did not send officers to investigate the scene when the report was made in the early hours of Friday morning.
Local police also apparently failed to make an immediate connection on Sunday night when they found the body of a young man with serious wounds to his head without any identification in a seedy section of Rome’s Tiber River, where it is common to find the remnants of stolen purses and wallets that float down the river and get stuck in the overgrown trees that line the banks.
Solomon’s credit card was used in Milan over the weekend, and police were working under the assumption that the young man had perhaps made the charges. Only when the American embassy pressured police to find the missing student did they put all the pieces together.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Daily Beast – Barbie Latza Nadeau