John Durkin of Rye Beach, NH, missing for two days
LEWISTON, Maine — Italian railway police say a college student from New Hampshire who was missing for two days in Rome had been hit by a train.
Police didn’t release the identity of the student whose body was found in a rail tunnel Thursday. But Trinity College Rome Campus officials said Saturday the student was Bates College junior John Durkin. The 21-year-old from Rye, N.H., was in a study abroad program.
Durkin had last been seen around 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Campo de’ Fiori, a historic square lined with pubs popular with students. Police said someone aboard a passing train spotted the body a few hours later in the tunnel running under a large park between stations near the Vatican and the Trastevere neighborhood.
The bar where Durkin was last seen is about a 30-minute walk from the tunnel where his body was found.
“The U.S. Embassy extends its condolences to the family of John Durkin, an American student participating in a study abroad program in Rome whose body was recovered today by Italian authorities,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Saturday.
A Facebook page created after his disappearance states, “It is with much sadness that the Durkin family informs of the loss of John Nolen Durkin and thanks everyone for their support during the past few days.”
New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan posted the following on her Twitter account:
“Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of John Durkin. Thoughts & prayers are with his parents, friends and loved ones in this difficult time.”
Bates’ Associate Vice President of Communications Meg Kimmel said Durkin is among six students that are part of an exchange program.
The group is studying abroad for the semester and left in January through the Trinity College Program, which has a campus in Rome.
Friends traveling with the group said Durkin had not been seen for two days. They said he went out to a bar and never returned.
“They left. John stayed behind, and it wasn’t too long after that he didn’t show up back to his room,” family friend Spence Lockhart said.
Durkin was a member of the Bates College football team.
“We will remember the fortitude and character that John displayed on a daily basis and attempt to emulate those standards,” football coach Mark Harriman said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family during this difficult time.”
“He grew up as a very athletic kid,” Lockhart said. “Very likeable, very socially conscious. He’s just really a wonderful, wonderful kid.”
Durkin was a junior and attended high school at the Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Mass.