updated 5/7/2009 6:10:38 PM ET 2009-05-07T22:10:38

A 24-year-old American studying in Florence was detained Thursday for questioning in the death of an Italian man, police and news reports said.

The American was found "covered with blood" about 200 yards from where the body of the victim, 62-year-old Riccardo Nistri, was discovered in a storefront on a quiet Florence street, said Carabinieri police Lt. Col. Ferdinando Musella.

The ANSA news agency, quoting unidentified investigators, named the American as Johnathan Robert Hindenach of Michigan.

Nistri's son had alerted police after he tried calling his father on the cell phone and heard an American in a "confused state" pick up, Musella said. A friend of the victim's also called police with a similar story and told police Nistri kept a second apartment on the street.

ANSA said Hindenach had left his hotel Wednesday night in a confused state shouting that people wanted to kill him. ANSA said he was believed to have been in Florence studying.

A receptionist at the hotel, the Grand Hotel Mediterraneo, confirmed that several groups of students were staying at the hotel but said she only knew of the incident from the media.

Nistri had two deep cuts in his neck, apparently cut by a broken piece of mirror, ANSA said. Hindenach also was injured, it said.

Hindenach was first taken to the hospital, then brought to the police station for questioning, ANSA said.

The U.S. Embassy said its consulate in Florence was aware of the report and was following up, but declined to provide more information citing privacy rules.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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