The body of missing Northwestern University student Harsha Maddula was pulled from Lake Michigan on Thursday evening. Although the body has not been officially identified, the cell phone and identification found on the body belonged to Maddula, who had been missing since early Saturday morning.
Maddula, 18, was last seen leaving an off-campus party in Evanston at about 12.30 AM. Maddula, a sophomore, lived in the dorms about a mile from the party’s location, but a review of dorm security cameras and electronic key records show that he never returned to his residence hall, officials report.
A statement on the university’s website reports that police focused their search yesterday on the Wilmette Harbor area, since cell phone activity from Maddula’s phone showed that the last cell tower to receive a signal from the student’s phone was in that area. The last signal was received shortly after Maddula was last seen, on the morning of September 22.
Maddula’s parents traveled to Northwestern from their native New York upon news that their son was missing, and family members offered a $25,000 reward for any information that could lead them to Maddula, reports NBC News. In a, NBC Chicago video, Maddula’s parents reveal that their son had recently been diagnosed with diabetes, and voiced their concern that he did not have any medication on his person. The mother also vocalized her concerns that her son may have been drinking at the party.
University spokesman Alan Cubbage said in a statement that the body was found in the harbor near the bridge on Sheridan Rd. shortly before 7 PM, and that no foul play is suspected.
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