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Italian peace artist found dead in Turkey

  • Story Highlights
  • Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo had been missing for nearly two weeks
  • The artist, known as Pippa Bacca, was hitchhiking with a friend
  • Web site says it was her "dream" to cross war-torn areas to promote peace
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(CNN) -- An Italian artist missing for nearly two weeks while on a tour to promote peace has been found dead in Turkey, her Web site and Turkish media outlets reported Saturday. She was 33.

Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo, known as Pippa Bacca, was hitchhiking with a friend from Milan, Italy to Jerusalem dressed in wedding dresses as part of what they called "Brides on Tour."

She disappeared March 31 while traveling through Turkey. The Italian and Turkish governments, along with Interpol, had been involved in the search for her, the Italian Foreign Ministry said.

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Turkish station NTV and di Marineo's Web site said her body was found Friday night near the village of Gebze, on the eastern edges of Istanbul. The station said an autopsy was still under way and that di Marineo's body would be returned to Italy.

NTV said police had a suspect in the case who burned di Marineo's ID papers and had inserted his own SIM card into di Marineo's mobile phone.

Di Marineo's Web site said the suspect led police to the body, which was buried in a forest under a few centimeters of earth.

The Web site for di Marineo's project said it was her "dream" to hitchhike across the war-torn areas of the Balkans and Mediterranean dressed as a bride to promote peace.

"That's the only dress we'll carry along -- with all stains accumulated during the journey," she wrote.

The two planned to visit artists, craftsmen, museums, and youth clubs along the way. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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