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A man the media accused of being the Boston bomber found dead

A missing Brown University student wrongly rumored to be involved in the Boston Marathon bombings was confirmed dead Thursday, after his body was pulled from the Providence River earlier this week.

Officials confirmed through dental records that it was 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi, who was last seen on March 16.

"We have confirmed the identity of the young man found in the water off India Point in Providence," said Dara Chadwick, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Health. Tripathi's body was pulled from the river on Tuesday, she said.

No foul play is suspected in his death, the Rhode Island medical examiner said. The cause of death has not yet been determined, but police said on Tuesday when his body was found that it had been in the water for a long time.

Tripathi's name had been tossed around in social media circles during last week marathon bombings as false speculation grew online that he was tied to the attacks, adding to his family's anguish over his disappearance.

"Our voices got drowned out and hysteria took over," Tripathi's brother, Ravi, told NBC affiliate WJAR in Providence.

The bombing suspects have since been identified as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Tripathi is from Radnor, Pa., and had been studying philosophy at Brown. He was on leave this semester, and his family has said he was battling depression. He was last spotted alive on surveillance video, walking near his apartment by the Ivy League campus.

After his death was confirmed Wednesday morning, Tripathi's family thanked supporters on a Facebook page devoted to the search effort to finding him.

"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," a message signed "The Tripathi Family" said. "Your compassionate spirit is felt by Sunil and by all of us."

Your thoughts? Do you think he was murdered? Committed sucide? Do you think he had any part in the bombings?


Asked by LostSoul88 at 1:33 PM on Apr. 25, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

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This question is closed.
Answers (22)
  • I'm sure he was dead long before the bombings happened. He'd already been missing for 3 weeks at that point. I do think people who brought him up at all - both on social media and mainstream media should have to go through a trial for the pain and suffering they caused his family. Even if they lose, they should be forced to publicly admit how wrong they were for saying it at all. He looks NOTHING like the pictures of the real suspects. The only reason he was ever brought up was skin color and a foreign sounding name.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:49 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • That's horrible, NP. ^^^

    I can't even imagine what his family went through. First they hear there's a picture of him alive and well after 3 weeks of looking, so they track it down only to be disappointed that it's not him, THEN they spend days being harassed and receiving death threats because of a picture that he's not in. After all that, they still lose him.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:05 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • gees...his poor family! not only is their son missing, then he's wrongly accused of being the bomber simply b/c he's got dark skin and a foreign sounding name, then they find out he's dead. what an awful month for them!

    and this guy isnt the only wrongly accused man. the Boston Globe mistook 2 guys as the bombers simply b/c they're tan and had on ball caps. the media is far too rabid to be "first" that they get it wrong constantly!

    Answer by okmanders at 2:06 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • Oh, man, that's so sad. I think he was just the victim of our 24-hour news cycle. It sounds like police think it was a suicide. I can understand how being misidentified like that could push someone who's already battling depression over the edge.

    Answer by SWasson at 1:40 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • He was shown pictured AT the Boston Bombing so he wasn't dead before it happened

    No, the dumb bitch on Twitter said he was in a picture at the marathon.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:58 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • Why was his name tossed around?

    Because some stupid bitch on Twitter said it was him, then made her acct private while the tweet was reposted and repeated all over Reddit, where it was then picked up by the news networks who were afraid they'd be scooped by "real" people. Thousands attacked his family, accusing them of raising a terrorist, within hours of her tweet.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:51 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • An autopsy will determine how long the body was in the water and if it were anywhere near the time of the bombing. Cause of death would also need to be determined for murder vs suicide.

    Too many questions to this one.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 1:43 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • Wanted to add that the article I read also stated that he left his wallet and other personal belongings at home, yet took a key. Maybe he was contemplating suicide and took the key in the event that he wasn't successful.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 1:51 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • If he was missing for 3 weeks before the bombings, and the police say the body had been in the water "a long time", I would guess (based on this limited information) that he was dead before the bombings happened. Maybe not a whole lot before, depending on exactly what happened, but before it all came down would be my guess.

    Stuff like this is why I avoid the news as much as possible anymore. You rarely get actual facts anymore - just a bunch of speculation, half truth, and outright fiction. They run stuff as fact when it's just something someone whispered in an alley somewhere, and never bother to go back and say, "oops, we screwed up", and they don't think about the lives that end up ruined by their stupidity.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 3:12 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • Why was his name tossed around? Was it simply because he was missing or is there something in his past to arouse suspicion?

    Answer by 3libras at 1:46 PM on Apr. 25, 2013