Search for Brown student reported missing 'going viral'

The search continued Monday for missing Brown University undergraduate student Sunil Tripathi, who hasn't been heard from since March 15.

The FBI is aiding in the search, which has expanded to Boston, Connecticut, New York and Philadelphia.

The idea of finding him is what keeps his family and friends going.

"Every minute feels like a year," said Ravi Tripathi, Sunil's older brother. "It's been a long week."

Benny Lichtner remembers meeting Sunil during his freshman year.

"I sat next to him in a freshman orientation kind of presentation," Lichtner said.

When he heard the news his friend was missing, Lichtner canceled his Spring Break plans in California and flew back to Providence.

"It felt strange to be all the way across the country for one and not being able to do anything," he said.

Lichtner's joining Ravi Tripathi to find Sunil. The goal on Monday was to visit any place the 22-year-old philosophy student frequented, which included India Point Park.

"We're just going to go out and look and see if he's returning to those areas to be at peace a little bit," Ravi Tripathi said. "We're hoping for the best."

Ravi Tripathi said friends and family have spent hours looking along the river and putting up signs at area coffee shops, hospitals and other places he would go.

Police said their electronic footprint is even more impressive.

The Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi Facebook page has thousands of likes. Police told NBC 10 they're getting leads from people in Boston, Philadelphia and along the East Coast.

"It is wonderful for us," Ravi Tripathi said. "It's so nice to know."

Family and friends hope if he's watching, Sunil will just come home or call to set their minds at ease.

"The biggest thing is that we want him to be safe," Ravi Tripathi said. "As long as he's safe, that's the important thing."