MANILA, Philippines - The body of a missing Brown University student whom some social media users mistakenly suspected as the culprit of the recent Boston bombings was recovered from the waters off India Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island, the Providence Journal reports.
The body was found on April 23, and a state medical examiner later confirmed that the body found was that of Sunil Tripathi, a 22-year old Philosophy student from Brown. Tripathi has been missing since March 16.
Social media's attention was, for a short time, focused on Sunil Tripathi as a potential suspect of the Boston bombings. In what has been called a "witch hunt" by some social media practitioners, users on a number of websites such as Reddit and 4Chan mistakenly thought Tripathi was responsible for the bombings. Despite this, the Tripathi family remained graceful given the refocused attention.
On Facebook, the Tripathi family thanked people for their support. Part of their April 25 post reads, "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."
Brown University also released a statement. Brown University President Christina Paxson wrote, "For more than a month our community has sought to support the Tripathi family in their courageous and tireless efforts to search for Sunil. We are grateful to the commitment of law enforcement during this time and to friends locally and globally who have contributed in myriad ways throughout the search." - Rappler.com