UPDATE: 11:00 AM EST
Sunil Tripathi’s family has released a statement via Facebook about the discovery of his body:
On April 23, our beloved Sunil was discovered in the waters off India Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island.
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.
This last month has changed our lives forever, and we hope it will change yours too. Take care of one another. Be gentle, be compassionate. Be open to letting someone in when it is you who is faltering. Lend your hand. We need it. The world needs it.
The Tripathi Family
Sunil Tripathi, a 22-year-old student at Brown University, had been missing since mid-March.
On Tuesday, Tripathi’s body was discovered in the Providence River by the coach of the Brown University crew team during practice. He was found near a hotel about a mile away from his apartment, and his wallet and cellphone were left at home.
This news comes only days after a Reddit moderator sent an apology to Tripathi’s family after many commentators falsely named Tripathi as a suspect in the Boston bombing.
“I’d like to extend the deepest apologies to the family of Sunil Tripathi for any part we may have had in relaying what has turned out to be faulty information,” the moderator of the FindBostonBombers subreddit wrote.
Although it’s unclear how people connected the dots to bring Tripathi from the missing persons list to the most wanted list, many believe that the mistake began on Reddit. Several users claimed that he was being sought by police, swarmed by the SWAT team, and that his name had been mentioned on police scanners.
Many Reddit affiliates felt guilty about their part in the damaging mistake.
Erik Martin, the general manager of Reddit, sent out an email “to apologize personally and on behalf of all our employees for…some of the people on our site’s role in the spreading of this false idea about Sunny.”
“We cannot begin to know what you’re going through and for that we are truly sorry….Several users, twitter users, and other sources had heard him identified as the suspect and believed it to be confirmed. We were mistaken.”
The true suspects, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan, were identified hours after police released their photos on Thursday evening.
The false accusation was painful to swallow for the family members of Tripathi, who have been relentlessly searching all over Providence for him. Prior to Tripathi’s discovery, his sister made a statement.
“We find it incredibly unfortunate that media outlets were so quick to jump without checking with authorities, but we hope they use the same energy and intensity they showed in the past 24 hours to really help us find Sunil,” said Sangeeta Tripathi, Suni’s sister.
Now, his friends and family members are happy the search is over as they mourn their tremendous loss.
Rest in Peace, Sunil Tripathi.