Body of AFN broadcaster found near tracks in Italy
U.S. and Italian officials Wednesday identified a U.S. Air Force woman whose body was found Monday near a northern Italy train station as Airman 1st Class Lauren Lagudi, an American Forces Network broadcaster stationed at Aviano Air Base.
Lagudi, 20, had been missing since Sunday, officials said.
Italian railway police found Lagudi’s body Monday afternoon as they were investigating the missing person’s report. She was found behind bushes about 30 to 40 feet from the railroad tracks near the downtown Pordenone train station, said an Italian police official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. Pordenone is about 10 miles from Aviano.
Officials have not determined cause of death. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday, the official said.
Investigators found Lagudi’s laptop and purse near her body, which was near a bridge over the Noncello River. The items included a ticket for a train from Rome to Pordenone that arrived at the station at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, the Italian investigator said.
The only sign of trauma was a large contusion on Lagudi’s face, which could have been caused by a fall, the investigator said. Her body did not appear as though it had been hit by a train, he added.
The joint investigation, conducted by Pordenone officials and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, is focused on the downtown area of Pordenone where the airman’s personal items were located, according to a 31st Fighter Wing press release.
Air Force officials declined to provide more information, citing the ongoing investigation.
Lagudi was a radio DJ on AFN Aviano, and recognized as the Air Force’s Outstanding New Broadcaster during the 2008 Air Force Media Contest, according to the station’s Web site.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of our Airman. Lauren will be highly missed," Brig. Gen. C. Q. Brown Jr., 31st Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement issued Wednesday. "The 31st Fighter Wing will work with her family and others affected by this loss to provide the support and assistance they need," the statement said.