Nweke Chukwuka, a 37-year-old homeless Nigerian immigrant, was detained after being accused of killing Iris Setti, 61, by beating her to death in Italy.
Iris Setti was attacked on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at around 10:30 p.m. in Rovereto, Trento, when she was strolling through a public park in the city’s Santa Maria neighbourhood. The suspect was a Nigerian man living on the street.
According to reports, the suspect attacked the woman in the street in what appeared to be a rape attempt that was so brutal that the victim eventually passed away in the hospital from her wounds.
The Nigerian man may have been trying to rob the victim or attempt to rape her, according to a report in the newspaper Il Giornale. It is also unknown whether the woman knew the man.
What is evident is that she was severely beaten. According to witnesses, the man threw the woman to the ground before striking her in the face and head with his fists and probably a stone.
The culprit ran away from the scene but was quickly apprehended by Carabinieri officers, who had to halt him on the Via Maioliche and use their tasers to restrain and detain him.
The victim was transferred to a nearby hospital, but due to the seriousness of her wounds, she passed only a few hours later.
Chukwuka was eventually prosecuted by the Rovereto Public Prosecutor’s office with voluntary homicide.
Chukwuka has a history of violence and is not unknown to Italian police enforcement. In August of last year, for example, he went on the rampage, attacking parked cars and menacing passersby with a shattered bottle.
Members of the ruling Italian coalition government led by Prime Minister Meloni have become tense over the situation. League leader and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has demanded to know why the Nigerian was even in the country and has asked interior minister Matteo Piantedosi for clarification.
Salvini stated, “This murderer had already been apprehended for violent acts in the past; we will ask to go all the way, as Minister Piantedosi has already announced correctly, to understand why such a delinquent was still at large.”
The brutal murder of the Rovereto woman is a very serious situation, according to Minister Piantedosi, who formerly worked with Salvini when the latter was Interior Minister in 2017 and 2018.
“I asked the Chief of Police to arrange every necessary investigation and a detailed reconstruction of the story, also to understand if there was something that did not work,” he said and added that further investigations were needed to establish all the facts in the case.
According to the Interior Minister, the government is working on a September security package that will strengthen law enforcement tools, including updates in video surveillance that will use facial recognition technologies.
Meanwhile, friends and acquaintances have described the deceased as a shy, reserved and very polite woman.
Iris was one of those people who didn’t like to put their faith in others, but once you became friends, she made herself available to you, according to Corriere Della Sera.
Iris loved to stay in shape and dress nicely. With an athletic build and a young demeanour, she recently turned 61.
She worked at the Rovereto Bank up until two years ago, when she made the decision to retire so that she could take care of her ailing mother, Carla, who lives close to the scene of the tragedy.