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Body of missing Chinese art student found near train tracks in Rome

Xinhua, December 10, 2016 Adjust font size:

Italian police on Friday found the body of a Chinese art student who was missing on Monday after being robbed in Rome, director of consular section of the Chinese Embassy in Rome Li Fan confirmed.

Li said the student's parents arrived Rome early Friday morning and recognized the body with the local police. The Chinese diplomat said the embassy informed the parent of sad news after they learned the student's missing.

The cause of the student's death is still being investigated at this moment, Li told Xinhua.

According to local media reports, the body of 20-year-old Chinese art student Zhang Yao was found on early Friday morning in Rome's outlying Tor Sapienza district, where she went missing on Monday after going to the Immigration Office.

Zhang was sitting on a bench at the bus stop in front of the Immigration Office and talking to a friend on the phone when somebody snatched her 1,000-euro designer bag, the reports said.

She found three robbers and chased them onto an access road to the nearby railway and then on to the rail-bed, where she was missing.

The police believe the robbers may have targeted Zhang while she was in line at the Immigration Office, because they intended to rob the designer bag.

Zhang's flatmate, who declined to give her name, told investigators that Zhang called her soon after leaving the Immigration Office Monday morning, saying she was in pursuit of three men, one of them had snatched her bag.

The flatmate of Zhang also told investigators that she tried to dissuade Zhang from chasing the robbers, since they made off with her bag but not her documents.

Later Zhang reportedly said: "I'm lost, I don't know where I am."

Then a noise with an impact was heard, she said.

Security cameras in the area reportedly show Zhang was chasing after three shadowy figures.

After seeing news reports on the missing art student, staff from an industrial warehouse near the Immigration Office and the railway said they recalled hearing screams and people running on the railway embankment on Monday, and decided to review their CCTV footage.

They alerted police after it showed the young lady on the railway embankment. Police helicopters and canine units had searched the area previously, but came up with nothing.

Zhang's body was subsequently found in the thorny bushes near railway tracks and police said the body showed injuries consistent with a violent impact.

The Chinese student came from Inner Mongolia in North China and moved to Rome in March 2016 to study at the Fine Arts Academy in the Italian capital's historic central district.

Police are still hunting the three attackers. Ednitem