A body pulled from the water just offshore in a Providence, R.I., park was that of Sunil Tripathi, a Brown University student missing since last month.
Tripathi was identified through a forensic dental exam. He was just 22.
A cause of death has not been determined, but the news puts an end to the mystery of his disappearance, which became doubly painful for his family.
Amateur online sleuths wrongly identified him as a possible suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. Of course, this turned out not to be the case.
Tripathi’s family, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., said they were overcome with grief but grateful for the outpouring of support relatives got over the last month.
“As we carry indescribable grief, we also feel incredible gratitude,” the Tripathi family said in a statement on a Facebook page set up to help find Tripathi.
“We extend our thanks for the words of encouragement, for your thoughts, your hands, your prayers, and the love you have so generously shared.”
Saddened, worried and confused by his vanishing, Tripathi’s family had been searching for him since mid-March with help from the FBI and fellow students.
The student, who went by Sunny, had “been going through a difficult time.”
His sister, Sangeeta, said he left his phone, wallet and belongings in his apartment near campus and simply disappeared. He was on leave from Brown.
Se some thought he resembled one of the people in photos released by the FBI. That person later turned out to be 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Reddit later apologized for fueling “online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties.”