A 37-year-old homeless Nigerian migrant identified as Nweke Chukwuka, has been arrested for allegedly beating a 61-year-old woman, Iris Setti, to death in Italy.
The attack occurred on Saturday evening, August 5, 2023, at around 10:30 pm in the city of Rovereto in Trento when Iris Setti was walking through a public park in the Santa Maria district of the city and was set upon by the suspect, a Nigerian living on the street.
It was gathered that the suspect attacked the woman in the street in an apparent rape attempt so vicious that the woman later died in hospital from her injuries.
According to a report from the newspaper Il Giornale, the Nigerian may have either been trying to rape the victim or possibly trying to rob her and it is also unclear whether or not the woman knew the man.
What is clear is that she was viciously beaten, with witnesses claiming to have seen the man throw the woman to the ground hitting her in the face and head with his fists and some sort of blunt object, possibly a stone.
The suspect fled the area but was caught a short time later by members of the Carabinieri, who stopped him on the Via Maioliche and were forced to use their tasers to subdue and arrest him.
The victim was taken to a local hospital but due to the severity of the injuries she had suffered, she died several hours later.
Chukwuka was later charged with voluntary homicide by the Rovereto Public Prosecutor’s office.
Chukwuka is not said to be unfamiliar with law enforcement in Italy and has been known for prior acts of violence, including an incident in August of last year in which he went on a rampage attacking parked cars and threatening random people with a broken bottle.
The case has caused tensions between members of the ruling Italian coalition government headed by Prime Minister Meloni, with League leader and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini demanding to know why the Nigerian was in the country at all, calling on Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi to clarify the matter.
“This murderer had already been stopped in the past for violent actions, we will ask to go all the way, as Minister Piantedosi has already rightly announced, to understand why such a delinquent was still at large,” Salvini said.
Minister Piantedosi , who previously worked under Salvini when the latter served as Interior Minister in 2017 and 2018, stated that “the barbaric murder of the woman in Rovereto is a very serious matter.”
“I asked the Chief of Police to arrange every necessary investigation and a detailed reconstruction of the story, also to understand if there was something that did not work,” he said and added that further investigations were needed to establish all the facts in the case.
According to the Interior Minister, the government is working on a September security package that will strengthen law enforcement tools, including updates in video surveillance that will use facial recognition technologies.
Meanwhile, friends and acquaintances have described the deceased as a shy, reserved and very polite woman.
“Iris was one of those people who didn’t like to trust people but who, once you became friends, opened her heart to you and made herself available,” says Corriere Della Sera.
She turned 61 a few weeks ago, an athletic physique and a youthful air, Iris loved to keep fit and dress elegantly.
She was employed at the Rovereto Bank until two years ago when she decided to retire to care of her elderly mother, Carla, who lives a short distance from the scene of the incident.
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