Body Confirmed as Missing Brown University Student Sunil Tripathi

ABC News
Body Confirmed as Missing Brown University Student Sunil Tripathi
.

View photo

Body Confirmed as Missing Brown University Student Sunil Tripathi (ABC News)

The Rhode Island medical examiner's office has identified the body pulled from a river on Tuesday as missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi.

A forensic dental examination helped confirm the identity of the 22-year-old's body this morning, according to Dara Chadwick, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Health.

"At this time, the cause of death is pending further study, and his family has been notified," Chadwick said. Chadwick could not confirm whether the body would remain at the medical examiner's office.

Lindsay Lague, a spokesperson for the Providence Police Department, told ABCNews.com, "There is no foul play suspected."

"This last month has changed our lives forever, and we hope it will change yours too," Tripathi's family said in a statement expressing its "indescribable grief" and gratitude. "We appreciate the coverage and support, but at this time, we ask for privacy for our family and for our love for Sunny."

The philosophy major from Radnor, Pa., was last seen on March 16.

"For more than a month our community has sought to support the Tripathi family in their courageous and tireless efforts to search for Sunil," Brown University President Christina Paxton said today in a message to the university community. "We extend our deepest condolences to Sunil's family for their loss and for the immeasurable pain they have endured during this period."

The university is planning a memorial service to honor Tripathi's life.

Tripathi's disappearance ignited a social media fire storm last week when amateur Internet sleuths mistakenly reported Tripathi's resemblance to photos of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Speculation into Tripathi's possible involvement in the Boston bombings was so rampant that it launched Tripathi's name onto the Twitter trending topics list.

Tripathi's family has said that the attention had been "painful" and it had "known unequivocally all along that neither individual suspected as responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings was Sunil."

The FBI joined the search for Tripathi last month, expanding the search across the Northeast after authorities found no signs of him in the Providence, R.I., area.

Tripathi was on leave from the Ivy League school at the time of his disappearance, and had left home without his cell phone and wallet. Sangeeta Tripathi, Tripathi's sister, told ABCNews.com at the time it was "completely atypical" for her brother to vanish without contacting anyone.

View Comments