American woman murdered in Florence was strangled

Ashley Olsen, the 35-year-old American woman found dead in her apartment in Florence was strangled to death with a shoelace, twine or a belt, the official in charge of the murder probe said Tuesday.

The autopsy results showed Olsen's killer did not strangle her with their bare hands and had not given any indication that Olsen had struggled with her killer, Florence's chief prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo said.

Olsen died sometime between Thursday night and Saturday morning, coroners said. They were unable to establish a precise time of death.

The Florence prosecutor's office was waiting for the results of DNA and of toxicology tests to determine whether there were drugs or alcohol in her system when she was killed, Creazzo stated.

He said police were still studying security camera footage and searching for Olsen's missing mobile phone, which was switched off on Friday morning.

Olsen's naked body was reportedly found on her bed by her boyfriend, 42-year-old Italian painter Federico Fiorentini, who entered the studio flat with Olsen's landlady on Saturday morning. There was no sign of a break in or disturbance and her beagle dog was curled up beside her.

Fiorentini allegedly rowed last Wednesday with Olsen and contacted her landlady to gain access to the apartment after becoming increasingly concerned when he could not reach Olsen by phone.

Fiorentini provided police with an alibi on Monday and is not under investigation.

Olsen was last seen alive between Thursday and Friday at the seedy members-only Montecarla club in central Florence, where she went drinking with friends. At around 3.30 am, Olsen's friends left and she reportedly told them she wanted to stay on at the club, which closes at 7am.

Olsen, a divorcee from Florida was the daughter of an art historian and had been living for the past three years in Florence, where her father teaches.