Vandenbroucke: last calls from Senegal

Frank Vandenbroucke with Palmiro Masciarelli and his three sons in 2007

Frank Vandenbroucke with Palmiro Masciarelli and his three sons in 2007 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Frank Vandenbroucke's friends received calls from his telephone Monday, on the morning of his death in Saly, Senegal. One call each was made to Acqua & Sapone team manager Palmiro Masciarelli's son and nephew.

"When I saw the prefix 221 I thought, 'Who is calling me at this time?'" Simone Masciarelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Then I remembered that Frank was on vacation in Senegal."

Masciarelli, a 29-year-old cyclist on his father's team, received a call at 6:30 Monday morning, 4:30 Senegalese time. A staff member of Hotel Maison Bleue found Vandenbroucke dead in his room later the same day.

"Later, I called my cousin Mimmo [Vernamonte] and he told me he received a call from the same number. We said that we wold call him back later, but now we are regretful [we didn't]."

Vandenbroucke had two mobile phones with him: one with a Belgian number and one with a Senegalese number to call internationally, according to Simone Masciarelli. Four persons were listed in the phone, a third was friend Davide Porta, who was also called.

Senegalese police arrested three persons Tuesday, according to AFP, for stealing Vandenbroucke's money (300€), a watch and the two telephones. One person was Seynabou Diop, the prostitute who spent the night with Vandenbroucke, another man who reportedly brokered the meeting, and the taxi driver that drove her to meet Vandenbroucke Sunday. Diop left Vandenbroucke's room at 2:00, according to the hotel staff.

The Belgian police have the telephones and have talked with Masciarelli, Vernamonte and Porta.

Vandenbroucke rode with and lived with the Masciarelli family in 2007. The family helped Vandenbroucke after he attempted suicide in the summer of 2007.

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