Chesapeake, Va. - The American found dead in Florence has ties to Chesapeake, according to a family friend.
People around the world are saddened by the death of a Florida native, 35 year-old Ashley Olsen was found dead in her Florence, Italy apartment over the weekend.
A family friend who NewsChannel 3 spoke to Monday morning confirms that Olsen has a sister who lives in Chesapeake, Virginia.
We are told Olsen had been living in Italy off and on for several years, but permanently moved to Italy two years ago to be closer to her father who is a professor overseas.
The family friend said loved ones are absolutely devastated and described Ashley as a precious woman, a wonderful daughter, sister and a beautiful human being.
The family friend called this tragedy unthinkable.
Chesapeake resident Jerry Curley only met Ashley Olsen a handful of times.
“She was happy, smiley. Happy go lucky,” said Curley, “It’s got to be devastating for them. I know it is. I would hate to have to go through that. I know it’s got to be a shock for them.”
Ashley's sister lives in Chesapeake, according to a family friend.
Jerry says Ashley would visit her sister every so often in Virginia staying for several days at a time.
Ashley’s friends in Florida can't believe what has happened to her.
Jacksonville resident Staci Kelly said, "I've never met anyone quite like Ashley. She had her special spark and anyone that met her loved her. She never met anyone that didn't like her. She was just a great person all around."
The artist is from Florida, but for the past two years has been living in Florence, Italy where her dad is a professor, according to a family friend.
Italian media report Ashley's death as possible strangulation.
Police said her boyfriend found her body on the bed of her apartment after he hadn’t heard from her in two days following an argument.
"I can't imagine what she went through. You know, no one deserves to go through that. So I just... whoever did this to her I hope that they get what's coming to them, because it's really hard. She was just, just the best person. And I'm shocked that this is happened to someone I know. It's just horrific," said Kelly.
A family friend in Florida told NewsChannel 3 over the phone that loved ones are absolutely devastated and described Ashley was a precious woman, a wonderful daughter, sister and a beautiful human being.
They called this tragedy unthinkable.
Police in Italy told Italian news agency ANSA that they are treating this as a homicide. According to CNN, Italian Police said Olsen was found strangled.
“The police haven’t really said anything yet. My son is waiting for the police to share more,” Olsen’s grandmother, Ann Olsen, told CNN by phone from Florida.
Olsen’s father, an architect, works for the Florence Art School Bianca Cappello.
Ann Olsen described her granddaughter as a beautiful girl. She owned a beagle named Scout.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson said the consulate in Florence was providing assistance.
“We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen Ashley Olsen in Florence,” the spokesperson said. “We extend our deepest condolences to her loved ones.”