The sorrow is almost palpable among those who knew Pravin Varughese. The Southern Illinois University student had not been seen for roughly a week, but it was hoped that he was simply missing and that no harm had come to the 19-year-old student.
Hundreds joined in the search, covering much of Carbondale, Ill.in an attempt to find him. His family even offered a reward of $15,000 for any tips that would lead to finding Varughese.
Sadly, Varughese was found dead on Tuesday at around 9:45 am in a wooded area a short distance from the 1400 block of Carbondale’s East Main Street.
A family member left the following message on the Facebook page that had been created for the missing teen:
“On behalf of our family, we wanted to thank you all for your kind words, endless support and prayers for Pravin. Authorities have confirmed this morning that they have found his body. We ask that you continue to keep Pravin’s parents and sisters in your prayers as we go through this difficult time and mourn the loss of a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin & friend.”
Rest in Peace, Pravin Varughese, who has been missing since last Wednesday night Justice will serve you Pravin. http://t.co/alANRBd4qE
— Malayalee Problems (@malluprobs) February 18, 2014
— Ida Jacob (@idahoe23) February 18, 2014
At this time the exact cause of death is unknown. Law enforcement officials believe the most likely cause at present was exposure. The last person to see Varughese alive described him as wearing light clothing and not having a winter jacket, suggesting that he found himself out in the woods overnight and unfortunately succumbed to freezing conditions.
Law enforcement has said that there were no obvious signs of foul play, but it has been reported that an autopsy and toxicology report has been ordered. It’s expected that the official cause of death will be known by Wednesday.
Pravin Varughese was last seen alive on February 12th at about 11:00 pm. He had left a party he attended with his cousin. Late in the evening he was alleged to have secured a ride home, however was unable to tell the driver where he lived. An argument started and Varughese supposedly exited the vehicle and was seen wandering towards the woods where he was later found.
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