Officials from Rhode Island’s Department of Health have identified the body pulled out of the Providence River on Tuesday as missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health told The Providence Journal that determining the exact cause of death could take several months.
The body was discovered by members of Brown’s crew team as they practiced in the area. The 22-year-old Tripathi was last seen on March 16 inside his Providence apartment.
Tripathi’s disappearance prompted a massive search that involved his family, friends, the FBI and local law enforcement. The case received an enormous wave of unwanted attention late last week as thousands of people all over the world accused him of being involved in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Tripathi’s family released this statement on the Help Us Find Sunny Facebook page this morning:
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.
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.
The Tripathi Family
The family requested that in lieu of flowers, supporters consider donating to the Sunil Tripathi Memorial Fund. According to their latest statement, they plan to choose organizations focusing on mental health and environmental sustainability to honor Sunil’s memory. Donations can be sent to: The Sunil Tripathi Memorial Fund, c/o Brown University, 110 Elm Street, Box 1893, Providence RI 02912.