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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pope meets parents of US student found dead in Rome

Meeting the grieving parents of a US student who was found dead in Rome, Pope Francis mourned the death of the teenager, who had been set to begin a study-abroad programme.

Beau Solomon, 19, was found dead in the Tiber River on Monday after friends reported last seeing him last Friday.

The pope met with Nick and Jodi Solomon, members of St John the Evangelist Parish in Spring Green, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, in a private audience. He expressed his “deepest sympathy and compassion” as well as his closeness to them in his prayers “for the young man who died so tragically,” according to a Vatican press release.

The student from the University of Wisconsin-Madison had arrived in Rome last Thursday to study at John Cabot University. However, he disappeared less than 24 hours later after spending the evening with friends at a Rome pub, according to the Associated Press.

Up to £1,000 had been charged to the student’s credit card after his disappearance, AP reported.

Italian police were investigating the cause and circumstances of his death and arrested a homeless man in connection with the case.

Beau had survived cancer as a child, the family said.