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American student studying abroad found dead in Rome railroad tunnel

2:50 PM, Feb 22, 2014   |    comments
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(CNN) -- A U.S. student who went missing while studying abroad in Italy was found dead inside a railroad tunnel in central Rome, police there said Saturday.

Investigators are looking into the death of John Durkin, an economics major from Rye Beach, New Hampshire. He attends Bates College in Maine, but was taking part in a study abroad program in Rome through Trinity College in Connecticut, his school said.

He's been in Rome for a little more than a month as part of a semester-long program, according to Tom Durkin, a family spokesman.

Two days ago, he went to a bar with a group of friends and never returned, according to the spokesman, who said he left the bar alone.

His father, Tim Durkin, is in Rome.

"This situation is deeply distressing for John's family, his fellow students and the entire Bates community," Bates College said in a statement. "We are working actively with Trinity College to monitor events as they evolve."

Drew Bailey, a State Department press officer, earlier told CNN that the agency is "aware of reports that a U.S. citizen is missing in Italy," but couldn't comment further "due to privacy concerns."

Durkin, a junior, was also a linebacker on his college football team.

Both colleges are working with Italian authorities.

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