• Bates College student missing in Italy reported dead Saturday


    RYE BEACH, N.H. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The Bates College student who was missing in Rome was reported dead Saturday.

    Family of John Durkin posted on a Facebook page created to aid in finding the 21-year-old to announce their loss, "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."

    Family and friends of Durkin held an impromptu service Friday night at a local church to pray for the safe return of the Rye native, who vanished while on a study-abroad program through Trinity College.

    The circumstances surrounding the death have not been released yet. However, the Italian press is reporting Durkin's body was found in a tunnel, apparently hit by a train. Details on how he got there are not clear.

    Family friend Spence Lockhart, who had known Durkin since he was little, said he wasn't the kind of guy who went looking for trouble.

    "He's certainly not a confrontational guy. He's very affable, nice, nice guy very, very friendly as everyone says when you meet him you feel like you've known him forever," he said.

    Durkin was last seen late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning at a bar called Sloppy Sam's, which is popular with American students who are studying abroad. Friends who were with Durkin that night said that he stayed behind when they left the bar. 

    Durkin was an economics major, Asian studies minor, football player and member of the Class of 2015 at Bates College. Two of his siblings also attended the college, Frederick "Ted" Durkin and Clare Durkin.

    "This is a time of deep sadness for our community and for so many people who knew and loved John," said Bates College President Clayton Spencer in an announcement released Saturday. "We are profoundly sad and share the tremendous grief of his family."

    Bates head football coach Mark Harriman said, "The Bates football family is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and teammate John Durkin. John's commitment to excellence in all phases of his life was inspirational to the other members of the squad and a major factor in the team's success over the past three years."

    The U.S. Embassy in Rome released the following statement Saturday: "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."

    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."


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