An American woman who was found slain in her apartment in Florence hinted weeks earlier on Instagram that she may have had a stalker.
Ashley Ann Olsen, 35, was found naked with scratches and bruises on her neck on Saturday.
Olsen’s body was discovered by her boyfriend, an Italian painter, who asked her landlord to open her apartment door after he hadn’t heard from his girlfriend in three days.
Italian prosecutors have opened a murder investigation.
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Ashley Olsen, 35, was found dead in her flat in Florence, Italy on Saturday by her boyfriend, an Italian artist
Twelve weeks ago Olsen shared this photo on her Instagram and wrote in the caption that she had a stalker, including the hashtags #creeperintheback #creeperpic #weirds***’
Olsen also shared this photo nine weeks ago with the hashtags #f***off and #creeper, once again appearing to hint that she may have been followed. It is not clear who took the photos or how Olsen retrieved them
Olsen first shared a photo on Instagram 12 weeks ago that shows her back, a coffee cup in her hand as she walks her dog.
‘I have a #stalker,’ she wrote in the caption, adding the hashtags ‘#stalker #stalkeralert #creeperintheback #creeperpic #weirds***’.
Three weeks later Olsen posted another picture of her flipping off someone while browsing through clothes at the Piazza Santo Spirito.
Two of her hashtags in the caption read #f***off and #creeper’.
Police would not comment on Italian news reports that the woman had been strangled until an autopsy can be performed, but they did confirm the bruises and scratches on her neck.
It has been reported there were no signs of forced entry into the apartment but Olsen’s injuries suggested she attempted to fight off her attacker, according to The Daily Telegraph.
He called police but Olsen, who is originally from Summer Haven, Florida, had reportedly been dead for hours.
Olsen was found with her neck bruised and scratched. Italian prosecutors have opened a murder investigation
Police would not comment on Italian news reports that the woman had been strangled until an autopsy can be performed, but they did confirm Olsen had injuries on her neck
TV and local newspaper accounts said Olsen’s body was identified by the victim’s father, who teaches art at a Florence school
Two weeks ago Olsen shared a photo on Instagram of a page appearing from Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat Pray Love that may have hinted she planned to break up with her boyfriend
A local woman revealed Olden had told her the couple had been having problems recently in their relationship.
‘I talked to her nearly every day,’ the woman told The Daily Telegraph. ‘I felt like a mother to her.’
The woman said she advised Olden to get therapy, as the American woman had been in a previous marriage that ended badly.
Olsen also seemed to hint on Instagram that she may have been thinking about ending things with her Italian boyfriend.
Two weeks ago she posted a page from Elizabeth Glibert’s memoir Eat Pray love, which included a passage in which the author contemplates breaking up with her boyfriend David.
‘Maybe it’s time for us to end our story forever,’ the page reads.
‘We loved each other. That was never the question. It’s just that we couldn’t figure out how to stop making each other desperately, shriekingly, soul-punishingly miserable’
Olsen included the hashtag #seriousconsiderdation in the picture’s caption.
Local TV reports said Olsen’s body was found on a bed in the apartment, which is located in Florence’s historic center Oltrarno.
It was identified by her father, who teaches art at a Florence school.
Olsen’s fatalistic messages on her Instagram page unfortunately ended up being prescient as the vibrant woman was reportedly found murdered in her flat
Italian forensic police officers stand outside an apartment where 35-year-old American woman Ashley Oslen was found dead, in Florence, Italy on Saturday
Olsen, 35, was living in Florence with her boyfriend – her Facebook page says she studied at The Art Institutes
Investigators have since seized Olsen’s computer. Her boyfriend and a group of mostly American friends were taken in for questioning, according to La Repubblica Daily.
Olsen moved to Florence in 2012 to study art and be near her father.
She was known for organizing events connected to the city’s art scene, according to La Repubblica Daily.
On her social media pages, Olsen shared many pictures of herself beside her beloved dog, Scout, showing the pair appearing to enjoy life in Florence.
Scout was found outside her apartment after Olsen’s body was discovered.
Police vowed ‘maximum attention’ Sunday to find Olsen’s killer but said there are currently no suspects.
Meanwhile, friends and fellow expats left flowers at Olsen’s doorstep as they expressed horror at the slaying of a woman known around Florence for always being with her beloved Scout.
‘I can’t imagine a person who would hurt her. She is a gentle, a kind, a beautiful, friendly, lovely girl and it’s an awful shock,’ Amy, a friend who only gave her first name, told The Associated Press in Florence.
‘We’ve got a great community here of people and everyone loved her.’
Italian police sealed off the entrance to the flat where American Ashley Olsen was living and found murdered
Friends and other expats expressed hope that the case wouldn’t end up repeating the flawed, flip-flopping investigation into the last high-profile murder case of a foreigner living in Italy, that of Meredith Kercher.
The British student was studying in the Umbrian city of Perugia when she was found dead in 2007.
Amanda Knox, Kercher’s American roommate, and her then-boyfriend were at first convicted of the murder, then acquitted, convicted again on appeal and finally acquitted for good when Italy’s supreme court last year definitively exonerated them.
Another man was convicted and is serving a 16-year sentence.
Several people in social media groups for expats in Florence posted comments about the parallel to the Kercher investigation, which was harshly criticized in both the American and British media.
Alexandra Lawrence, a 17-year resident of Florence, said the art-filled city has long drawn creative people like Olsen, who find a ready-made expat community that is far more active and close-knit than ones in Rome or Milan.
‘I think maybe because it’s such a small city, but because there are so many expats, we all eventually come across each other and run in similar circles,’ said Lawrence.
She said she didn’t know Olsen personally, but said the first thing she thought of when she heard the news was the Knox saga.
‘We’ve been through this terribly unresolved mystery with Amanda Knox,’ she said in an interview. ‘You never want it to get to that point.’