Italian police: US woman found slain in her Florence flat

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ROME (AP) — An American woman, her neck bruised and scratched, was found slain in her apartment in Florence on Saturday, Italian police said.

A police spokeswoman, Maddalena Carosi, said the women has been identified as Ashley Olsen, 35, and had been living in Florence for some time. Florence prosecutors have opened a murder investigation.

Police wouldn't comment on Italian news reports that the woman had been strangled until an autopsy can be performed, but they did confirm Olsen had scratch marks and bruises on her neck.

Police also declined to comment on Italian news reports that Olsen's boyfriend, described as an Italian artist living in Florence, became worried when he didn't hear from the woman for a few days and asked the apartment's owner to open the door.

Local TV reports said the body was found on a bed in the apartment, which is located in Florence's historic center.

TV and local newspaper accounts said the body was identified by the victim's father, who reportedly teaches at a Florence school.

La Repubblica daily said Olsen loved art and had organized events connected to the art world.

The ANSA news agency said Olsen was born in Florida.

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