The body of 29-year-old Alrae Ramsey, a Bahamian and foreign service officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a student at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, was fished from the banks of Po River near the Isabella Bridge in Turin, Italy, around 3:30 p.m. yesterday, according to Italian officials.
Another Bahamian student by the name of Blair John, who was reportedly visiting Italy from Canada, is also reported missing.
The purpose of the visit to Turin remains unclear.
According to reports, a passerby saw Ramsey’s body floating in the water and alerted officials.
Officials believe his body had been in the water for at least two days.
Additionally, reports indicated that the body had a head injury that the coroner considers compatible with a fall.
Ramsey’s family members, who did not wish to be named, said they had not heard from him since Thursday and were shocked to learn of his death.
In a statement on the matter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is investigating the incident with the appropriate authorities in Turin.
“A senior diplomat from the Bahamas High Commission in London has been sent to Turin to speak with police and other officials in order to verify the facts,” the statement read.
“The ministry is in close contact with the family members of the two young men. Our prayers and thoughts are with both families at this time.”
Former Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell also issued a statement on the matter, expressing shock over the news.
Mitchell said he is devastated and has a deep sense of sadness and loss.
“I am lost for words that a young man with such promise has left us,” he said.
“I worked closely with [Ramsey] throughout his career as a diplomat.
“He was a brilliant young man, full of hope and promise.
“A fine example of the most promising young people of his generation.”
Mitchell went on to praise the work Ramsey did in the first campaign for The Bahamas to be elected to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.
“We have an obligation to find out what happened,” he said.
“…My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two young men.
“On behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party, I offer our prayerful support.”