Ashley Olsen, American Murdered in Italy, Laid to Rest

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Ashley Olsen, the 35-year-old American woman who was murdered in her Florence apartment, was laid to rest on Friday in her adopted homeland.

Friends, family members, her boyfriend, and her beagle Scout all gathered inside the Santo Spirito basicila to say goodbye to Ashley Olsen. Federico Fiorentini, Olsen's boyfriend, held Scout on his lap.

Just hours before her funeral, Ashley Olsen's parents--Paula and Walter Olsen--issued a statement thanking Italian authorities for their "swift apprehension" of the man who allegedly killed their daughter.

“We want to sincerely thank the Italian authorities and the investigation teams for their swift apprehension of the perpetrator, and also thank the US consulate for the continuous support,” they said.

“Our deepest affections go to Ashley’s many friends and to the community of San Frediano that she dearly loved,” Ashley Olsen's parents added.

The suspect, Tidiane Cheik Diaw, was arrested Thursday.

Ashley Olsen's murder brought back thoughts of Meredith Kercher's 2007 murder in Italy. American Amanda Knox was initially jailed for that murder, but was eventually exonerated of the crime.

It is believed that Ashley Olsen met Diaw in a nightclub, later returning to her apartment for consensual sex before engaging in a fight. His attorney says he pushed Ashley Olsen to the ground after a night of "sex and drug use," but didn't intend to kill her.

Ashley Olsen moved to Florence in 2012 to be near her father. Walter Olsen said Ashley was “a beautiful and creative young woman with a happy, exuberant and generous soul."

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.