The nightmare may finally be ending for the Tripathi family, albeit on a sad note. On Tuesday, police in Rhode Island found a body from Providence Harbor, about which Providence Police Lieutenant Joseph Donnelly said, “It’s very, very possible” that it could be that of Sunil Tripathi (22), who went missing on 16 March.
The consternation among the Tripathis, who had created a Facebook campaign called ‘Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi’, was exacerbated after Sunil was falsely named a suspect in the Boston marathon bombings on social media platforms, Twitter and Reddit. Following numerous false claims that Mr. Tripathi was the suspect in white cap in the photographs and CCTV footage released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), his family is said to have received “ugly” threatening messages.
However, as it turned out, the person falsely linked to Mr. Tripathi was actually Chechen-origin Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (19), presently in hospital, and facing charges over the bombings. After the dramatic events leading to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s arrest, including the killing of Dzhokhar’s elder brother Tamerlan in a gunfight with police, the moderator of the Reddit’s “FindBostonBombers” put out a statement of apology
He said, “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. We cannot begin to know what you’re going through and for that we are truly sorry.”
On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Providence police department said that the body was found in India Point Park in Providence Harbor and “its identity would be confirmed in an autopsy on Wednesday”. Mr. Tripathi, a philosophy student at Brown University, apparently left behind his ID, wallet and cell phone and was last seen near his apartment, located near the university campus.