US Student Killed in Rome May Have Been a Victim Twice
Beau Solomon may have been robbed before an alleged riverside scuffle
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2016 5:40 AM CDT
Updated Jul 6, 2016 6:00 AM CDT
Beau Solomon of Spring Green, Wis.   (Courtesy of the Solomon family via AP)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – As police piece together what befell Beau Solomon during the few hours he spent alive in Rome, they reportedly now believe the 19-year-old American student may have been robbed before encountering Massimo Galioto along Rome's Tiber River. The 40-year-old homeless man, who was on Tuesday arrested in connection with Solomon's murder, told police that Solomon was drunk and stumbling when he approached him on the edge of the river beneath Garibaldi Bridge early Friday, reports the Washington Post. Galioto claims Solomon slipped over an embankment and into the water after the two argued. Galioto's female companion echoes that story, saying the two "were pushing each other. Massimo pushed him, the boy pushed back, and then he fell in the water," per the Local. However, two witnesses told police they saw a man thrown into the river.

Roughly $1,700 was charged to Solomon's credit card on Saturday in Milan, per the Daily Beast, which spoke to officials who say they suspect a gang known for targeting foreign tourists may have stolen his wallet and phone. Galioto's companion reports seeing Solomon descending the stairs to the river with two people who she says robbed him, per the AP, and the Daily Beast points out Galioto has not been charged with theft. As for his subsequent death, Solomon suffered a head wound and police say he may have hit his head on a rock in the river, though an autopsy will determine whether he died by drowning or entered the water dead. The Guardian has this line from Solomon's father: "The only doubts we had [about Beau going to Rome] were pickpocketing." Also Wednesday, Pope Francis met with Solomon's parents at the Vatican, reports USA Today.