Short story leads law to killer suspect

An Italian man has been ­arrested over the murder of a Nigerian prostitute after police searching her apartment found a short story he wrote with close similarities to the killing.

Police in Turin, northern Italy, discovered the nine-page story entitled The Rose and the Lion among the belongings of Anthonia Egbuna, whose body was fished out of the River Po in ­February, a Carabinieri spokesman said yesterday. She had been stabbed to death.

Officers took some months to identify the body and then visited Ms Egbuna’s apartment last month.

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Aspiring author Daniele Ughetto Piampaschet, 34, was arrested last week because of likenesses between his short story and the real murder, the police said. He denies murder.

After finding Piampaschet’s short story, police say they discovered he had been in a relationship with Ms Egbuna, then 19, between February and August of last year.

They alleged in a statement that he murdered her in November because their relationship was going badly and she refused to give up prostitution – in what appeared to be a link to the short story.

“He loved her and he loved her more every day, but she did not want to leave the streets. All his efforts to convince her to change her life had failed. And for this reason she had become his torturer,” reads an excerpt of the story quoted by police.

In the short story, the murderer strangles the Nigerian prostitute and then takes his own life.

“He wrote the story and gave it to her as a gift – to make himself look good,” Piampaschet’s lawyer, Stefano Tizzani, said.

He added that Piampaschet had a “profound passion” for Africa and Nigeria, and saw Ms Egbuna as an inspiration for his writing.