RYE, NH (CBS/AP) – A 21-year-old college football player from New Hampshire who went missing in Rome, Italy has been found dead.

John Durkin, a junior at Bates College in Maine, was last seen alive about 2:30 a.m. Thursday after spending Wednesday night at a bar with other American students.

Trinity College Rome Campus officials Saturday confirmed that Durkin’s body was found in a rail tunnel Thursday after apparently being struck by a train. The student from Rye, N.H., was in a study abroad program this semester.

Durkin’s father and brother traveled to Italy to join the search after being informed by schools officials on Thursday that he was missing.

“It is with much sadness that the Durkin family informs you of the loss of John Nolen Durkin and thanks everyone for their support during the past few days,” Durkin’s family posted on a Facebook page that had been set up to help find him.

Durkin had last been seen in Campo de’ Fiori, a historic square lined with pubs popular with students. Police said someone aboard a passing train spotted the body a few hours later in the tunnel running under a large park between stations near the Vatican and the Trastevere neighborhood.

Family members who flew to Rome to search for him were reportedly able to positively identify those remains on Saturday as Durkin’s.

Railway police said the case was under investigation and could give no other details.

The State Department issued a statement confirming Durkin’s death in Rome. “We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the statement reads. “The U.S. Embassy is providing consular assistance to his family. We have no further details to share out of respect for the family during this difficult time.”

Durkin was a linebacker on the Bates football team, and had been studying economics. He was one of six Bates students studying at the Trinity program, according to a statement by Trinity College President James F. Jones, Jr.

“This is obviously a heartbreaking moment for John’s family and I want to extend our own sense of deep loss and sorrow to his family and many friends,” said Bates spokesman Jay Burns said in atatement. “This is also deeply painful to the Bates College community.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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