US student believed murdered in Barcelona

20-year-old was initially thought to have died of an overdose

Police have arrested a man in Barcelona in connection with the alleged murder of a US university exchange student, who was initially thought to have died from a drug overdose.

Crispin Scott, 20, a Dartmouth University junior, is suspected to have been drugged with a powerful barbiturate and sexually assaulted by his landlord before he died, police sources tell local media. The suspect is a 41-year-old Ecuadorian man who was charged and held in custody on Friday.

In announcing the arrest in a statement, authorities on Monday declined to give information about Scott's death. He was a native of Mercer Island, near Seattle, Washington.

According to the Union-Leader daily, published in Hanover, New Hampshire, where Dartmouth is located, Scott had just arrived in Barcelona to participate in a two-month liberal arts program sponsored by Portland State University. He was found dead on January 7 in the apartment he was renting.

Police suspected that he overdosed after a night of partying but a subsequent autopsy report showed that the amount and type of drug found in Scott's body indicated foul play.

Various media outlets in Catalonia report that the detained man is suspected of being a serial rapist. Police found about two dozen photos of nude young people - all of them in an unconscious state - and in compromising positions. The suspect is said to have photographed them after giving them a mixture of tranquilizers.

Police sources said an investigation is underway to find other possible victims.

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