February 24

Investigators try to determine what time Bates College student left Rome bar

The death of the popular football player was the second death on the team in 18 months.

By Beth Quimby bquimby@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

An Italian newspaper reported Sunday that investigators are trying to determine the exact time a Bates College student left a bar last week before he was struck by a train in Rome.

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John Durkin

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John Durkin was a popular member of the Bates football team, on which he played defense.

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The State Department confirmed Saturday that John Durkin, 21, of Rye Beach, N.H., a junior studying in Rome, was dead. A search had been launched by friends and family when Durkin was reported missing early Thursday after leaving a bar popular among American students. His body was found several hours later in a railway tunnel but was not immediately identified because he was not carrying identification.

The newspaper Roma Today reported Sunday that Durkin’s body was recovered by railway police Thursday and identified Saturday by his father, Tim Durkin, who had flown to Rome to join in the search. The newspaper reported Durkin’s legs had been severed.

The newspaper said investigators are trying to figure out the precise time he left the bar, which is located in Campo de Fiori, a historic square in Rome. His friends said they left him at the bar at 1:30 a.m. The bar closed at 2 a.m.

Durkin’s body was first spotted by a passenger on the train. The newspaper reported that the distance between the pub where Durkin was last seen and the tunnel is about 3 kilometers, or about 2 miles, which would take about a half hour to walk in the night.

The newspaper reported investigators will be using footage from street cameras and toxicology tests.

Durkin was a popular member of the Bates football team, on which he played defense. His is the second death on the team in recent years. Freshman Troy Pappas, 18, of Eliot died Oct. 5, 2012, from injuries suffered in a fall from three floors in a stairwell at Parker Hall on the Lewiston campus several days earlier.

Bates College spokeswoman Meg Kimmel said Saturday the college would schedule a gathering in Durkin’s memory after consulting with his family. As of Sunday night, the date of the memorial event had not been announced.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:


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