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Italian police probe slaying of American woman in Florence

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FLORENCE, Italy — Police have questioned the friends of an American found dead in her Florence apartment as Italy’s expat community is expressing hope that the case won’t turn into another Amanda Knox-style, headline-grabbing murder investigation.

Police opened a murder investigation Saturday after 35-year-old Ashley Olsen of Summer Haven, Florida, was found dead, her neck bruised and scratched.

Police said they questioned Olsen’s boyfriend, a local artist, Saturday but that they have no suspect so far.

Meanwhile, friends and fellow expats expressed horror at the slaying of a woman known around Florence for her beagle, Scout, and said they hoped her killer would be found quickly.

Several expressed hope that the case wouldn’t repeat the flawed investigations into the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Knox was ultimately acquitted in the case.

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