Published February 23, 2014
A 21-year-old Bates College student who had been reported missing was killed when he was hit by a train, Italian authorities said Saturday.
Police did not release the student's identity in their statement, but officials at Trinity College Rome Campus told the Associated Press that the body was that of John Durkin, of Rye, N.H.
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 under a large park between stations near the Vatican and the Trastevere neighborhood.
Durkin's family confirmed their loss in a post on a Facebook page set up to search for the student.
"It is with much sadness that the Durkin family informs you of the loss of John Nolen Durkin and thanks everyone for their support during the past few days," the post said.
Durkin was among six Bates students participating in a study-abroad program through Trinity College in Connecticut.
New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan tweeted, "Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of John Durkin. Thoughts & prayers are with his parents, friends and loved ones in this difficult time."
"This is a time of deep sadness for our community and for so many people who knew and loved John," Bates College President Clayton Spencer said. "We are profoundly sad and share the tremendous grief of his family," Spencer said in a statement.
Two of Durkin's siblings attended and graduated from Bates. Durkin, a linebacker on the school's football team, was in his junior year and studying economics.
"The Bates football family is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and teammate John Durkin," Mark Harriman, the Bates head football coach said in a statement. "John's commitment to excellence in all phases of his life was inspiration to the other members of the squad and a major factor in the team's success over the past three years," he said.
Bates College spokeswoman Meg Kimmel says college officials have been in touch with Durkin's parents, and said Durkin's father was on his way to Italy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.