Body confirmed to be that of missing Brown U. student
The body of a man pulled from the Providence River is that of missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi, the state Department of Health confirmed Thursday.
The medical examiner said the cause of Tripathi's death is still under investigation but no foul play is suspected.
Tripathi, 22, was last seen on March 16, and his family had been desperately searching for him. His body was found in the water at India Point Park late Tuesday afternoon. Police said the body had been in the water for "some time."
The family, from suburban Philadelphia, posted a message on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Tripathi:"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."
Tripathi's sister, Sangeeta, said he left his phone, wallet and other belongings in his apartment near campus and simply disappeared. He was on leave from the Ivy League school, where he was studying philosophy, and had been going through a difficult time, she said
Tripathi's brother, Ravi, told CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" on Wednesday night that Sunil was never clinically diagnosed with depression, but the family knew he was having mood problems.
"It kind of bound us together. We all came and communicated with him as much as possible, and both our nuclear family and our extended family had extensive contact with him, which is part of what makes this disappearance just so troublesome for us. And so unknown," Ravi Tripathi said.
Sunil Tripathi was falsely identified on social media as possibly being one of the Boston Marathon bombers, after the FBI released images of the two suspects.
His sister told CNN that the family knew he was not involved.
"It was incredibly painful for our family. This was coming at a time after 34 days of pain in our family and worry. And we, you know, knew unconvincingly that this was not Sunil, especially when we saw all of the video footage and surveillance that was being released. We were absolutely sure. And it was just very difficult to have the events of that night unfold so aggressively with language that was not based on any actual evidence at all," Sangeeta Tripathi said.
Tripathi's family said Sunil was on leave from the Ivy League school and living with classmates in Providence.
Brown President Christina Paxson sent a message to the campus community Thursday, saying Tripathi would be remembered for his "gentle demeanor and generous spirit." She described him as an accomplished saxophonist and a "serious, thoughtful, intellectually curious student and a brilliant writer."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.