Story By: Madalina Spulber, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Picture Credit: CEN & CENfirstname.lastname@example.org
This 27-year-old Romanian male escort who planned to move to the UK has been arrested for pushing a pretty former athlete, also pictured, off the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome.
According to local media, Romanian national Stefan Iulian Catoi has been identified as the main suspect in Imen Chatbouri’s death.
The body of the 37-year-old Tunisian woman was found on the bank of the Tiber River in Rome after being pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.
The local authorities initially suspected that Chatbouri, a heptathlon champion who won a bronze medal at the African Games in 2002, committed suicide, but CCTV footage reportedly showed that she was followed by a man and pushed from the bridge.
According to local media, Catoi has been identified by the police as the man in the unreleased footage.
The 27-year-old Romanian, who has lived in Italy for nine years and reportedly earns money as a construction worker and male escort, is currently in police custody.
He is accused of pushing Chatbouri from the bridge when she stopped for a rest, and then placing her head on a sports bag on the path next to the Tiber to make it look as though she was sleeping, according to local media.
After Catoi’s arrest, a shocked aunt in Romania said: “He was never any good here. When he was at home, he stole a lot and even went to prison. He was not violent, but he was always stealing.”
According to the suspect’s mother, he planned to leave Italy for the UK to find better work.
The investigation is ongoing.