A family’s worst fears have been realized. The Rhode Island Health Department confirms a body found in the Providence River Tuesday is that of missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi.
Members of the Brown University crew team found the body in waters off India Point. Dental records confirmed they are the remains of 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi, who vanished from his Providence apartment March 16th. His family reported he was despondent.
A cause of death is pending further study. The family has been notified.
Relatives of the Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania native have been in Providence the past seven weeks looking for him. They developed a Facebook page that drew hundreds of thousands of hits and made extensive use of Twitter and Reddit.
Last week when authorities released blurry images of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects it was falsely rumored on social media that the bomber was Tripathi. The missing man’s older brother, Ravi Tripathi, said it was an incredibly painful time for a family already in distress.
Brown President Christina Paxson advised the university community by email. She called the philosophy major a curious student and a brilliant writer who will be remembered for his gentle demeanor and generous spirit. A memorial service is planned for Saturday.
Tripathi Family Statement
“On April 23, our beloved Sunil was discovered in the waters off India Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island.
As we carry indescribable grief, we also feel incredible gratitude. To each one of you–from our hometown to many distant lands–we extend our thanks for the words of encouragement, for your thoughts, for your hands, for your prayers, and for the love you have so generously shared.
Your compassionate spirit is felt by Sunil and by all of us.
As these days have shown us, the media is a powerful tool to be used carefully. We hope you continue to exercise caution and treat human lives with delicacy.
This last month has changed our lives forever, and we hope it will change yours too. Take care of one another. Be gentle, be compassionate. Be open to letting someone in when it is you who is faltering. Lend your hand. We need it. The world needs it.
We appreciate the coverage and support, but at this time, we ask for privacy for our family and for our love for Sunny.”
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