Ashley Olsen murder probe: Italian prosecutors reject claims US artist found dead in flat in Florence 'was involved in sex game gone wrong'

A post-mortem showed Ms Olsen, 35, had been strangled

Italian prosecutors investigating the death of an American artist at her apartment in Florence have rejected claims she may have been involved in a "sex game gone wrong". 

The naked body of Ashley Ann Olsen, 35, of Summer Haven, Florida, was discovered by her boyfriend on Saturday morning.

An autopsy revealed she had suffered two fractures to her skull before being strangled.  

The Local and The Mirror had cited that Ms Olsen, who had been living in Florencemay have been either semi-comatose and unable to resist her attacker, or was choked to death as part of a sex game that went horribly awry. 

But Florence chief prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo told reporters at a news conference on Thursday "there was no sign of any erotic game" - and said a suspect had been detained following the discovery of "decisive evidence". 

Senegalese immigrant Tidiane Cheik Diaw, 25, is being held in a prison in Florence and faces charges of murder, aggravated by cruelty. 

Diaw, who arrived in Italy illegally a few months ago to join his brothers, was arrested after DNA analysis came back from a used condom and cigarette butt found in Ms Olsen's bathroom, as well as DNA samples from under her fingernails. 

He is also alleged to have taken Ms Olsen's cell phone, put his own SIM card in it and used it.  

While prosecutors have not established any motive, Mr Creazzo detailed the pair's movements on the Friday night before her death, based on witness testimony and street cameras. 

He said the pair had:

  • Met for the first time at the Montecarla disco in Florence early Friday morning
  • Gone together to Ms Olsen's apartment
  • Drunk alcohol
  • Possibly taken drugs over the course of the evening
  • Had consensual sex.

Mr Creazzo said Diaw, who told investigators he worked odd jobs handing out flyers for local nightspots, had "substantially admitted" the prosecutors' reconstruction of events, Reuters reported. 

Italian media also quoted Diaw as telling police that he had not meant to kill Olsen, but that she had "fallen during a row".

Additional reporting by AP

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