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Senegalese man arrested in Ashley Olsen murder case

A Senegalese man has been arrested in Florence, Italy in connection with the murder of US citizen Ashley Olsen. Olsen was found strangled and naked in her flat last Saturday.

Police in the central Italian city of Florence have detained a man from Senegal spotted on CCTV footage with Olsen, who was found dead in her apartment last Saturday.

He was identified as Tidiane Cheik Diaw, who is in his mid-20s and arrived in Italy illegally a few months ago. He is accused of aggravated homicide, given the brutality of Olsen's death, Florence chief prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo told a news conference in the historic Tuscan city.

Florence Prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo (L) gives a press conference over last week's murder in Florence of Ashley Olsen.

Florence Prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo (L) gives a press conference.

He added that DNA analysis of a condom and a cigarette butt found in Olsen's bathroom had led to his arrest. The motive was unclear, he said.

Diaw had also taken Olsen's mobile phone, put his own SIM card in it and used it, Creazzo said.

Witness statements and CCTV footage indicated Olsen had met up with an unidentified man after leaving a night club in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Olsen, a US national from Florida, who had lived in Florence for a few years, appears to have had consensual sex shortly before she died, the postmortem revealed. Both Olsen and her killer had drunk alcohol and possibly taken drugs over the course of the night.

Her body was found in her flat in central Florence on Saturday afternoon, naked and strangled. She also suffered two fractures to her skull before she was throttled.

Creazzo said there was no evidence to suggest she died as the result of an erotic asphyxiation game which went wrong or that she was strangled while in a semi-comatose state resulting from the game - as Italian media had speculated.

Last year, another US expat in Italy,

Amanda Knox, was acquitted of involvement in the murder of her British flatmate Meredith Kercher

in the central city of Perugia in the Umbria region in 2007.

ng/rc (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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