A body found floating in a Providence, Rhode Island, river has been positively identified as missing Brown student Sunil Tripathi — a Bryn Mar, Pennsylvania, native whose name was wrongfully aired as a suspect in the Boston bombings.
According to the Independent, the state’s Department of Health used dental records to identify the 22-year-old and the official announcement of the body’s identification ended the 38-day search. The cause of death is still yet to be known, although no foul play is suspected.
As if tragedy has not stuck the Tripathi family enough, Sunil was wrongfully misidentified as a suspect in the Boston bombing case last week.
On March 16, Sunil Tripathi left his apartment that he shared with other students in the Rhode island city and never came back. The last image of him was taken by a CCTV camera, which caught him crossing the street, hands inside the pockets of his ski jacket. He had been suffering from depression, and his family raised an alarm. Police, student organizations and even the FBI were involved in searching for the missing student.
They organized searches and persistently appealed for help on social media.
Sunil’s case was thrust back into the spotlight after the Boston Marathon tragedy as fast-spreading and inaccurate speculation pegged Sunil as a bombing suspect.
Some people were so convinced he looked like one of two men identified by police as suspects in the Boston bombing, countless people resorted to Twitter and Reddit — claiming the missing student was the subject of a massive manhunt. Once the Tsarnaev brothers were announced as the official suspects, the conjecture ceased. But the emotional damage to his family was done.
Now that his body has been positively identified, Sunil Tripathi can finally by put to rest.
Below is a statement issued by Brown University through their Facebook page in light of the recent news: