Italian police are now saying 24-year-old Johnathan Hindenach is psychologically disturbed, and was drinking and on drugs when he murdered 62-year-old Riccardo Nistri in Florence, Italy, this week.
Hindenach's apparent confession is a hard fact to face for his neighbors back home in Charlotte.
"No, not here. Not about two doors away. It's really scary," says the Hindenachs' neighbor Debbie Peters.
Peters and her friend Karen Thompson say as parents, this is a nightmare.
Ii'd be praying for him. I'd definitely be praying for him," Peters says.
"It's surprising. This peaceful little area? Hopefully they'll check things out further," Thompson says.
Neighbor Linda Greisinger is just as bewildered.
"Shocking. Very shocking," she says. "Everyone wishes it didn't happen, but you can't control those things."
Olivet College President Don Tuski tells us Hindenach had left for Italy on Saturday with seven other students and a professor to study art around the country until May 18.
Tuski says Hindenach's an award-winning art student who'd just transferred to Olivet this year. Before that, he'd spent one semester at Grand Valley State University.
Lansing Community College tells us he'd also been a student off-and-on there from 2003 until 2008. And Hindenach was a 2003 graduate of Charlotte High School.
People have been coming into the Hindenach household Friday, though neighbors say the parents will be leaving for Italy. On Thursday when we showed up for comment, they asked us to leave. Parents in the neighborhood say they just can't imagine what they're going through.
"Just your child to take someone's life maybe-- it's devastating. Just devastating," Peters says.
Italian police say Hindenach had left his hotel Wednesday night, screaming that his colleagues wanted to kill him. Nistri was found with stab wounds in his neck from a broken mirror, and Hindenach was found about 200 yards away covered in blood, police say.
Tuski says the remainder of the students will be coming home to Michigan from Italy on Saturday.