MILAN (AP) — Police in northern Italy on Wednesday arrested an ex-employee of an agricultural business in the slaying of his former boss, an Ethiopian refugee who had been hailed as a model of integration for building a successful goat farming operation after she arrived in Italy 10 years ago.
The 32-year-old suspect from Ghana confessed to killing Agitu Ideo Gudeta, 42, telling police the two had argued over unpaid work, Italian news agency LaPresse reported.
Gudeta died from blows to the head with a hammer and was raped in her home in the northern Italian province of Trento, according to LaPresse.
Neighbors who checked in after she failed to show up for an appointment found her body.
Gudeta studied sociology at the University of Trento and returned home to Ethiopia after receiving her degree. In 2010, she fled conflict in Ethiopia and returned to Italy.
She settled in the remote Valle del Mocheni area, where she set up a business raising goats and making cheese and other products from their milk. Italian media had chronicled her success building the business, which she named The Happy Goat.
The U.N. refugee agency said it was “pained” by Gudeta’s death, and that her entrepreneurial spirit “demonstrated how refugees can contribute to the societies that host them.”
“Despite her tragic end, the UNHCR hopes that Agitu Ideo Gudeta will be recorded and celebrated as a model of success and of integration and inspire refugees that fight to rebuild their lives,” the agency said.