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Missing Southern Illinois University Student Found Dead

Pravin Varughese, an Indian American student at Southern Illinois University.
  • CARBONDALE,Illinois

    Pravin Varughese, a Southern Illinois University student reported missing last week, was found dead in Carbondale, Illinois, Feb. 18, reports WLS.TV.

    The body of the 19-year-old Indian American student was found in a wooded area off East Main Street, according to the Carbondale Police Department.

    Police said Varughese was being given a ride home Feb. 12 by an acquaintance when they had a dispute. Varughese exited the vehicle and fled into the wooded area, police said.

    The acquaintance came forward to police Feb. 17. The exact cause of his death is still being investigated, but no foul play is suspected at this time, police said.

    "This is a moment of unimaginable sorrow for the entire SIU community," said a SIU spokesperson on behalf of chancellor Rita Cheng.

    SIU student government tweeted, "The Saluki family lost one of its own today. Keep Pravin Varughese's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. #RIPPravin".

    Varughese is from northwest suburban Morton Grove. His family had offered a $15,000 reward.

    An earlier report from IANS adds: Varughese was a second year student majoring in criminal justice, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
 Phone records showed that Varughese called a friend in Chicago at 12:30 a.m. Feb. 13, the missing student's sister Priya Varughese said.
 The friend told her it sounded like her brother might have been running or arguing with someone, the sister said.
 The SIU teen’s Twitter account shows a tweet at 11.06 p.m. Feb. 12 that reads: “99% of the time I have no idea whats (sic) going on,” and another at 11.17 p.m. that reads: “Bloody knuckles... guess I was in a fight #backdown”.

    Priya said her brother was reported missing after he did not return to the off-campus room he shares with his cousin and another roommate the following day.
Family, friends and members of the family’s church made the trip to Carbondale to assist in the search, she said.

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