Efforts on to identify body possibly of Sunil Tripathi

Washington, April 25 (IANS) US authorities are trying to determine if a body pulled from Providence river is missing Indian origin student Sunil Tripathi, who was erroneously linked on social media to the Boston bombings last week.

The Rhode Island medical examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy on the body, but so far no positive identification has been made, ABC News reported citing spokesperson Dara Chadwick.

The body appeared to be a male in his twenties and had “been in the water for a while,” said Commander Thomas Oates of the Providence Police Department.

Tripathi, a 22-year-old philosophy major at Brown University, was last seen on March 16 but ignited a social media firestorm last week after the FBI released a photograph of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects wearing a white baseball cap.

A Brown rowing coach reported a body in the river near India Point Park, CNN reported citing Lindsay Lague, a spokesperson for the Providence Police Department.

Lague said authorities may be able to identify the body as soon as Thursday morning.

The Tripathi family’s search for the missing student has been detailed on a Facebook page, “Help us find Sunil Tripathi.”

“He was seen on the 15th, Friday, hanging out with his friends, talking to family members, all normal activities, nothing out of the ordinary that anyone detected,” his brother Ravi told CNN affiliate WPRI on April 10.

Since then a desperate search has been on for Tripathi, known to family and friends as “Sunny.”

When he went missing, Tripathi, who had been struggling with depression, was on approved leave from the Ivy League school, meaning that he had requested and was granted time off but remained a student there.

Sunil had taken the time off to figure out exactly what he wanted to do, Ravi told WPRI.

A moving video was posted on YouTube on April 8, simply titled “For Sunny,” in which family and friends appeal for him to come home, telling him how much they love him and want to see him.

The family “want to know that he’s safe,” Ravi told WPRI just six days before the Boston bombing. “All we really want to know is that he’s around and that he’s okay.

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