STUDENT FOUND DEADMaine college linebacker last seen leaving bar in Italy

LEWISTON, Maine –  A 21-year-old Bates College student who was missing in Italy was found dead Saturday. 

The family of John Durkin posted on a Facebook page created to help search for him to confirm their loss. 

“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,” the post said. 

Durkin, who was from Rye, N.H., was among six Bates students participating in a study-abroad program in Rome through Trinity College in Connecticut. 

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan tweeted, “Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of John Durkin. Thoughts & prayers are with his parents, friends and loved ones in this difficult time.” 

The circumstances of his death have not been released, according to a statement from Bates College. 

“This is a time of deep sadness for our community and for so many people who knew and loved John,” Bates College President Clayton Spencer said. “We are profoundly sad and share the tremendous grief of his family,” Spencer said in a statement. Two of Durkin’s siblings attended and graduated from Bates. 

Family and friends of Durkin gathered for a service Friday night at a local church to pray for his safe return, MyFoxBoston.com reported. 

Friends traveling with the group said Durkin had not been seen for two days. Friends told MyFoxBoston.com Durkin was last seen late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning at a bar called Sloppy Sam’s. Durkin reportedly stayed behind when the group he was with left the bar located in the Campo de Fiori section of Rome. 

“He’s certainly not a confrontational guy,” Spence Lockhart, a family friend told MyFoxBoston.com. He described Durkin as someone who makes “you feel like you’ve known him forever.” 

Durkin, a linebacker on the Bates College football team, was in his junior year and studying economics. 

“The Bates football family is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and teammate John Durkin,” Mark Harriman, the Bates head football coach said in a statement. “John’s commitment to excellence in all phases of his life was inspiration to the other members of the squad and a major factor in the team’s success over the past three years,” he said. 

Bates College spokeswoman Meg Kimmel says college officials have been in touch with Durkin’s parents, and said Durkin’s father was on his way to Italy. 

Click for more from MyFoxBoston.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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