Wednesday, December 4, 2002; Page A14
MILAN, Dec. 3 -- An Italian man who packed his bags 44 years ago and told friends he was leaving for America was found dead inside one of the walls of his home today, according to Italian police.
An American woman who recently bought the house, near Lucca in northern Tuscany, discovered the body as she was carrying out renovations, police said.
Inside a thick wall in the cellar, the woman found human remains, two packed suitcases, a rusted rifle, a bottle with a suicide note, a trowel and other equipment that could be used to make a wall.
The note, on paper headed with the name Nemo Cianelli, explained that the man had discovered that he had an incurable disease and had decided to kill himself.
In the letter, he said he had invented the tale of going to America in an effort to avoid upsetting members of his family, according to the account given by police.
Local newspapers reported in 1958 that Cianelli was missing, and speculated that he might have gone to America.
However, after a period of rumor and mystery, the story was forgotten.
Police said it appeared that Cianelli had packed his suitcases, written the suicide note, built a wall up around himself and then shot himself.